There was a time, not long ago, when psychoanalysts took the entire month of August off. I know this because my late father, Dr. Martin Feldman, was a psychoanalyst with a robust private practice for many years. He told me about the Analysts' August but, in truth, didn't often adhere to it.

The Analysts' August is an example of what I call a strategic pause in the busyness of running a business (in this case, a private psychotherapy practice requiring energy, time, intellectual prowess, and emotional stamina.)

Earlier this year, I'd decided that I'd like to give it a try. I'd take all of August to relax, refresh and renew. But here's the rub. In today's 24/7 world of constant connectivity and a pervasive expectation of rapid response, I'd almost certainly succumb to the steady drumbeat of email and texts. I didn't think I could give myself a true and complete vacation for the entire month. It wouldn't be fair to my clients or to me.

My compromise? I decided to work the entire summer while taking deliberate pauses in the action. Long weekends, shorter hours, periodic midweek trips to the beach. And in so doing, I've managed to create a more leisurely summer, with flexibility, plenty of fun, and seamless advisory access for my clients throughout. It's been a win all the way around.

It’s important that you create the right strategic pauses. These may not be the same for you as they are for someone else. There's no need to emulate someone else's formula or to follow the so-called rules. Create your own path. Find the rhythm that works for you, your business, your team, and your life.

You may find it interesting that a study in New Zealand demonstrated improved performance for people working just four days per week:

So, even if you can't take two full weeks' vacation, perhaps you can take Friday afternoons off. Or schedule a few long holiday weekends. Maybe you can wrap up your summer workdays at 4pm.

Get creative. See what works for you. Trust me, your business, family, and life will be better for it!

#slowdowntospeedup #strategicpause #strategicleadership
To your continued success!

Dr. Liz

PS: I will continue sharing ideas you can use right away. L et me know what you think. And do tell me what you'd like to read about!