If you are a manager or business owner, let me tell you: making your employees work on vacation is like walrus cupcakes.
It doesn’t make sense. Here’s why.
A Teenager and Backward Advice
My second oldest son Tristan is a senior in high school. He loves to study. He loves to learn. He definitely has different drives than I did in high school.
The normal advice you give to teenagers involves good habits. It’s about finding ways to get things done and encouraging mental tricks and techniques to accomplish more.
With Tristan, it’s the opposite. I have to tell him to make sure and schedule time for fun. I have to point out that he needs to take breaks. I have to highlight the importance of recharging. He becomes so driven he becomes overstressed and ends up feeling less accomplished than if he hadn’t done anything.
He needs a break to be at his best, just like your employees do. Not only is making your employees work on vacation like walrus cupcakes because it doesn’t make sense, it’s also counter productive. After all, who wants walrus cupcakes?
Stopping to Making Progress
One of the biggest challenges I have to be my most productive is finding out when to quit. Like my son, I get so driven, I push too hard.
I have to plan time to take away. I have to make it a point to take breaks, and it’s not for the sake of the break. It’s because I want to be at my maximum productivity.
I chart my productivity each day in a variety of categories. I’ve been doing it for years, so I can see where burnout is occurring and where progress happens. In order to be at my best, I know I have to take time away. It seems counter intuitive, but it’s true: time away actually makes you more productive.
Stop Making Walrus Cupcakes
People need to rest their brain so they come back fully charged. Making your employees work on vacation is like walrus cupcakes: nobody wants them. Sure you can use up your productivity making them, but it’s wasted effort.
You can get extra work out of your employees when they work on vacation by overworking them, but their productivity will go down. You think you’re getting more, but you’re getting less. (Sometimes you have to do less to do more.)
Stop making walrus cupcakes. No one wants them. When you make them, you put in effort that doesn’t do any good.
Let your employees enjoy their vacation. It’s for your benefit. And leave the damn walruses alone.