Taking a vacation and a little time off can often leave us feeling a little guilty. We deserve time off, but why do we feel that we are doing something wrong when we book a little time away from work?
Have you noticed those couple of co-workers that at the end of the year haven’t used any of their vacation days? Some of us may argue that on the surface this might seem productive, whilst gaining some ‘brownie points’ with the powers that be. However, studies have shown that those that take their whole amount of vacations days during the year feel more refreshed and productive on returning to work.
With this in mind, there are a number of reasons why people opt not to take time off. Workers feel they may be branded by their managers as not having enough commitment to their role. They also fear for their job security and feel by taking time off they could be jeopardising their future with the company. Quite frankly none of us should feel this way. We are fully within our rights as a worker and human being to take our vacation time.
Why is time off important for success?
1 – Alleviates Stress
Working with no end in site can be highly stressful.
It is no secret that projects, clients, and proposals can sneak up on us to create stress and anxiety. It is important to consider that the mind and body need time to rest and recover to reach its full potential. Stress does take its toll on our health, and going on holiday provides us with time to relax and reset both mentally and physically.
Stress directly affects your quality of sleep, alters our mood, decision-making abilities and can even tear apart relationships. There are a number of everyday steps you can take to manage and maintain stress levels, but nothing compares to taking an extended break away from the office and not worrying about the tight deadlines and mundane office tasks.
Taking an extended break also provides the opportunity for you to reflect on your life and work on self-development. Take time to explore your hobbies and interests, practice them, and place work as far from your mind as humanly possible. Downtime is so important and it is clear to see how it correlates directly with success.
2 – Productivity
As a self-confessed workaholic, it is easy to fall into the trap of ‘overdoing it’. I often found that I would try to fit a few more hours of work in here and there, whilst not understanding the effects it had on those around me. After some recent advice, I have found that I am more productive when I take a step back, recharge my brain and body, and then go again. Various studies show that performance increases after breaks whether an extended vacations or micro breaks of 30-60 seconds.
When overdoing yourself on tasks and projects you can run the risk of strain, fatigue and negative mood. Undoubtedly, this can be drain on our physical and emotional resources. We must replenish the resources we use throughout the day or it can become more difficult to stay on task, be attentive and solve problems. How can we do this? Be sure to use your annual leave entitlements wisely and take continuous breaks during your working day.
Use your holiday entitlement sparingly and appropriately. Do not feel guilty for taking time off and using your vacation days. Use this time to revitalise your body, mind and soul. You will be sure to return to work with different mentality and a new found burst of productivity.