The work will always be there. Take a real break—turn it off—and you’ll come back more focused, more refreshed, and more productive. Really.

by Joanne Black

It used to be that sales people totally disconnected from their business lives in the evenings and over weekends. We even took vacations where we didn’t check email. No conference calls. No faxes. No Twitter. No texts. Removed. Unplugged.

You have to disconnect and recharge to really be productive. We need time to sit back, relax, and forget about our business world… for a bit. The thing is, the sales cycle doesn’t take a vacation, doesn’t disconnect at night or on the weekends. New technology accounts for part of this sales shift. Because we now function in a global economy, we have more pressure to be available 24/7 and to respond immediately.

And this is a problem if you’re in sales. Sales doesn’t take a break.

That said, new technologies enable us to collaborate in ways we never envisioned—save time and present a unified response to our clients. We create documents together online, talk to each other at practically no cost, converse in a variety of languages, and save a ton of time by not sending emails back and forth questioning which version of a presentation or proposal is the most recent (hurrah for the central repository).

Yes, we’re working more efficiently and actually finding time in the process, but that doesn’t help much, because the next project, client, or manager demand surfaces before we have time to catch our breath.

While writing this blog post, I’m tempted to stop for a minute and check email. Why? Because I’ll miss out on something? No. Do I really think that a few minutes matter that much? No. Then why? Because that’s what we do today. That’s the norm. We’re always connected, always in touch, and always need to appear busy.

Well, I resisted the temptation (although I thought about it), and I said, “No.” Email can wait.

What else in your life can wait? Not your health, not your family. Who and what can you say no to? What projects can wait? Everything isn’t a priority. You are.

Hmmm… I think I’ll take my own advice. I’m taking my dog, Lola, for a walk.