National Leave Work Early Day is “celebrated” on June 2 of each year. If June 2 falls on a weekend, it’s celebrated on the closest weekday. The “holiday” was created several years ago by my colleague, Laura Stack, MBA, CSP, CPAE. A fellow productivity specialist, she was inspired to encourage hard working folks to take a break because at the time, Americans were working an average of 49 hours per week – 9 hours more than the so-called standard work week.
Fast forward to 2020. This year has been a bit different, wouldn’t you say? Most of America has been working from home for two months and couldn’t leave the house, so how does one leave work early?
Thankfully, many parts of the country are beginning to reopen. But schedules are still not back to normal. You might be furloughed. You might have been moved to part time. Or you might start working onsite one day per week and from home the rest of the time. No matter what your situation is, I encourage you to participate in National Leave Work Early Day.
Whether my clients or virtual seminar participants have maintained their assigned work schedule or been furloughed, I’ve found that they’ve actually been working more hours than ever. What about you?
When you were working at the office, you had a physical separation from work. While you might have mentally slipped back into work mode for fleeting moments while you were at home in the evening, you likely did not jump back on the computer and dive into a project. Now that you’re working from home, you no longer have that physical separation. Your device is right there. You can just do that one more thing to finish your to do list or that one more Hail Mary Pass that just might completely transform your company.
If you’ve continued to work at the office, the location has been the same, but the situation has been unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. You might be working with a skeleton crew or at totally different shifts than what you’re used to. Plus you have the added challenge of staying virus-free while serving customers or juggling different job duties because not everyone can be in the office.
If you were furloughed, you’ve had the stress of worrying about your financial future. To take your worries away, you might have busied yourself with projects around the house you’ve been putting off for months or years, and now you’re worn out from organizing, cleaning, and gardening for the last eight weeks.
If you have children, you’ve experienced the additional challenge of turning into a home schooling phenomenon within 24 hours while still trying to manage your workload.
Or maybe you’ve experienced emotional lows or possibly had to nurse loved ones who were stricken by the virus.
No matter what your situation is, you need a break. Physical. Mental. Emotional.
On June 2, I encourage you to make an appointment with yourself to have fun. It can be during the traditional work day or before or after. If June 2 is already packed with appointments, choose another day that week to treat yourself to the gift of rest, relaxation and recharging. You deserve it!