Working effectively and being productive is important. But if you want to really up your productivity… try taking a vacation! It might seem counterintuitive but vacation time is important to your physical and mental health. A recent study by the US Travel Association’s Project Time Off found that 54% of employees left vacation time on the table in 2016 – that’s a collective 662 million unused vacation days!
Even a day off at home curled up reading a book or catching up on the gardening can help. Here are some reasons time off is important, and a little on how you can disconnect from work, and enjoy it!
The Benefits of Vacation Days…
Even a single day off pays you dividends including:
- Reduced Stress – A study by the American Psychological Association found that workers who regularly take time off report fewer stress-related complaints and the positive effects of even a single day off can last up to 5 weeks!
- Improved Productivity – Disconnecting gives you time to recharge. Getting more done in less time requires tremendous focus. An Ernst and Young study found that for every 10 hours of vacation time, performance ratings increased by 8%. When you’re more productive you’re happier, and happier people excel at what they do.
- Better Sleep – Disrupted sleep is a common malady today. Often it’s because we simply can’t turn off the voices in our head and less sleep impacts productivity and impairs memory and focus. Vacations give us a chance to reset our sleep patterns.
Disconnect to Recharge
It doesn’t take much to fix the stress of overwork. Simply tuning off your cellphone and relaxing with a good book can help. A simple change of environment can change your perspective, boost productivity and improve your focus. That can happen in as little as a day!
When you do take a break, let your boss, clients and team know and tell them who to contact in your absence. Then stick to you guns, turn off the cellphone and resist the urge to check email or call the office.
The fact is, you’ve earned those vacation days. To stay productive means finding a work/life balance. So take a vacation! You’ll end up more productive and happier for it!