Thursday, September 29, 2005

Taking a rhythm day to get my groove back

Yesterday, Tuesday, I took a rhythm day. Not a sick day but a rhythm day.

After waking Monday with a headache and going through the day on passionless will power, by evening I was thinking, "I just want to run away and hide." It was at that point I realized I needed to take a rhythm day.

Tuesday morning I left home and wandered to the local library, chatted wih the librarians, taking note for future columns.

Then I had a long lunch at Burger King reading the latest Fast Company. After lunch I drove to a park, leaned my van seat back, and took a nice nap. Actaully two nices naps. The first one wasn't long enough.

After reading Freakonomics for awhile I took a swim and then headed home for dinner with friends.

I love people and pastoring and leading EGL but every once in awhile it's too much.

If I were working for a standard USA company I would face a moral dilemna: should I call in sick?

Margaret Morford, president of the HR Edge Inc., a Nashville-based training and management development consulting company, says people are taking sick days because they are simply working harder and longer. Voice mail, e-mail, cell phones and other technology also allow people to be plugged in to work more than ever.

"People are getting burned out," she said. "And I recommend to managers: You need to keep your eye on people, and sometimes you just need to give them a mental health day, or at least offer them the option."

Companies need to abandon the old sick day policies and give people rhythm days.

Jim Loehr and Tony Schwarz make two points in The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal'':

We need to balance stress and recovery.
Balancing stress and recovery helps us be highly energetic.

When the balance between stress and recovery gets out of rhythm on the stress end we get sick. Much better to take a rhythm day. And now I have my groove back.

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