“We’ve all come to work exhausted, or under the weather, or while experiencing some sort of physical pain. We power through it as best we can, unaware that our brains are redirecting critical resources to manage these issues. It’s a process that enables us to cope. But as Mike Christian, an assistant professor of organizational behavior at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, has found, these efforts take a toll on our performance. When our mental energy is depleted, we are less able to exhibit control over our emotions and behaviors — and are more likely to be disengaged, break rules, take part in deception, or even act unethically.
There’s also some interesting research showing that vacations help people get back to their full level of self-control. (They) have shown that whether you come back to work refreshed after a vacation depends not only on the amount of time you are away, but also on what you do during your vacation. People who engage in what they call mastery experiences — those where they learn a new skill, like scuba diving — are able to really disconnect and feel accomplished. When they get back to work, they are much more replenished than people who sit on the beach and might still ruminate about work.
Being able to focus on the moment raises your level of self-control, but it can also recharge you, better preparing you to meet your goals.”