Why perfectionists find it so hard to take a break - Business Works
BW brief

Why perfectionists find it so hard to take a break

Adi Gaskell, PEX I'm going on holiday soon to get some sun and sea with the hope that I’ll return to work refreshed and recharged. Working online however actually switching off is pretty tough. My smartphone for instance allows me to keep in constant contact with what’s going on. I can check my emails whenever I want. My social media accounts are never more than a click away.

Such a scenario is probably not a new one to many of you, but I’d like to talk about a slightly different curse today – that of the so called ‘fade-out effect’. The fade-out effect describes how the gloss of our holiday rapidly vanishes when we get back to our desks.

New research suggests that if you’re a perfectionist then you’re more likely than others to suffer from this.

Before their holiday they were found to be worse off emotionally. They were more exhausted, anxious and fatigued than their colleagues. They faired slightly better whilst on holiday as their moods rose and fell in line with their colleagues. When they returned to work however they rapidly fell back into their bad habits, reporting high levels of exhaustion, anxiety and fatigue.

The researchers believed this was because the perfectionists had very high standards, yet doubted their own ability to meet them. Therefore events such as deadlines or presentations triggered high levels of stress.

So, how can we avoid this stress? Turning off the mobile phone is a great start, but also can absorbing your mind into activities whilst on holiday. You want to literally fill your brain with plenty of things that are nothing to do with work. You might still suffer from stress when you get back but at least you’ll have an enjoyable holiday.

Adi Gaskell is Head of Online at Process Excellence Network.

Tweet article
BW on TwitterBW RSS feed