I am on the road at least one day each week for 40 weeks during the year. Sometimes I speak with executives in an office or a conference room. Sometimes I speak to HR professionals in a hotel ballroom. There are times when I am on stage in front of a large audience.
No matter where I am, the act of speaking is tiring.
The lights! The audience! The networking! The pressure to say something that makes sense!
I am not complaining. I live a charmed life, and it’s easier than working in a shabby Chinese coal mine; however, when I step off stage, I am both energized and spent in a way that is difficult to explain.
— Could I run a mile with the amount of adrenaline in my system? Hell yes.
— Could I take a nap? Yes. Especially on the plane ride home. I am out in minutes.
What I notice most is how my cognitive abilities decline if I don’t take meaningful breaks between long trips. I can’t travel for more than a few days in a row. If I do, I stop using my words when I get home. I make mistakes in emails. My tweets and text messages only make sense to someone who is as road-drunk as I am.
Hard work of any kind taxes our bodies and our central nervous systems. I know that many of you deserve some time off but can’t get away for various reasons. Family commitments are huge. Financial situations are tight. But I think you probably need a day or two away from the daily grind of your job so you can regroup and focus on what’s important.
Even if you step away for a few hours, this weekend, I would encourage you to do it.
You work hard. You deserve it.