It’s the end of the year and while most families are preparing for Christmas festivities, most senior managers are sitting with budgets, schedules and project plans. There’s a temptation when things slow down for the holidays to spend the time catching up on all the additional management tasks that get overlooked in favour of more urgent daily priorities.

It may seem like a good use of your time, especially when you know the new year is going to get off to a busy start, but have you considered an alternate view? That nothing in those tasks can replace the value of time spent with family. Christmas comes around once a year, for children especially it’s a time when memories are made. Building a career is important, but so is building the relationships that support you and enable you to take on those responsibilities at work.

Finding the balance between work and home life is an ongoing challenge, especially as we advance in our careers. With more responsibility we feel more obligated to spend more time at work, but is it really for the best? Is it honestly making senior managers more focused or more productive?

What managers can learn from the 4-day work week experiment

There is a growing trend among companies to test a 4-day work week. From an employee perspective it’s a very attractive proposition, for companies it’s proving that it’s not the hours worked that matter, but the amount of productivity. Preliminary results from these 4-day work week experiments are showing higher levels of productivity, greater employee engagement and less burnout.

Whether or not your company embraces the 4-day work week it’s a lesson for all senior managers. More hours won’t necessarily make a difference, but more rest almost definitely will. A rested mind and body are more focused and more creative when it comes to problem solving. You’re able to communicate better, are less likely to get into a confrontation, and are usually more open to ideas.

What does this mean for senior managers? You make better decisions. You’re able to engage in more effective negotiations and you’re able to get greater clarity on priorities – including where you should be spending your time. So, over the festive season, when there’s the temptation to check your emails on your phone – don’t. Switch off, take a break, you’ll be a better manager when you do.