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High Performance: Shutting down the engines

December 1, 2014 -  By

harwood-blogLike many of you, I plan to take some time away from work later this month, not only to celebrate Christmas and the New Year but also to spend time with family, relax and refresh before launching full force into 2015. I recognize the need to shut down the engines, especially after running hot for months on end. However, I often find myself unable to do so. Despite my best efforts, I simply cannot shut it down. My calendar and automated email responder may say that I’m on vacation but I still check my email throughout the day, answer important phone calls and mentally remain focused on business-related matters.

This may be the new norm, but it is also not very healthy. I plan to take steps to change my behavior going forward. Over this holiday break, I will be completely shutting down the engines. They will be turned off, not idling. The keys will be in the drawer. The air will be let out of the tires and the oil will be drained—whatever is necessary to ensure I don’t fire them back up after a day or two.

Believe me, this will not be easy. But the best things in life are never easy. To be successful, I will need to act with intention to put in place steps that will produce the intended result—a true break that will leave me refreshed and energized for the next year.

If this message resonates with you, I’d like to ask you to consider following in my footsteps. The benefits will be well worth the effort—mental, physical, emotional, relational and even spiritual benefits, leading to a healthier state.

Now go forth.

Photo: jeff_golden/

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Phil Harwood

About the Author:

Harwood is a Managing Partner with GrowTheBench and Pro-Motion Consulting. Reach him at He is a Landscape Industry Certified Manager, NALP Trailblazer, NALP Consultant, and Certified Snow Professional. Harwood holds a BA in Marketing and Executive MBA with Honors from Michigan State University.

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