It is really very important to take a vacation to reduce stress, whether it’s a few weekends sprinkled throughout the year or one longer break.
(Source: Laing S, Garet B, Cawley K, Crabtree S. Year-Round and Extended-Year Schooling. Department of Economics at the University of Georgia. )
Recharge Your Batteries
But how will my co-workers manage in my absence?
There’s a common assumption that we’re indispensable at work. That, in our absence, everything will fall apart at the office. It won’t. While it may make you feel good about your contributions to the company, it’s unhealthy — both for the company’s growth and for office morale. By taking time off, you provide team members with the opportunity to develop their skills to manage projects while you’re away. Know that when you’re away, portions of your work, tasks, and projects can be allocated to fellow team members. And, likewise, when it’s their turn to get away, you’ll have their backs too.
Gain Long-Term Vision
There’s a connection between taking regular breaks during the day and your level of productivity. According to one study, researchers found that “brief diversions from a task can dramatically improve one’s ability to focus on that task for prolonged periods.” So ditch the guilt and stretch your legs. Employees need to detach from their work in order to be more creative and productive.
While mini breaks can provide short-term stamina, it’s still important to take longer breaks from work to sustain your productivity and reduce stress.
Tight schedule? If work commitments are really pressing down on your time, take a 3-4 day trip closer to home.
Vacation time also lets you pursue other interests. For leaders, being away from your work environment for a longer period of time will allow you to gain a fresh perspective on the vision you have for your organization. For employees, summer vacations offer time to reflect on new ways that you can help your team accomplish long-term projects.
Set an Example
Americans aren’t taking vacations. Not because they can’t afford them, but, according to research, because the average American is afraid to take time off from work for fear of not appearing dedicated to their job. In a survey from workforce consulting firm Right Management, 70 percent of employees said they weren’t using all their earned vacation days in 2011.
Team leaders can demonstrate to employees that they understand the importance and necessity of having time off to relax. If you’re a supervisor, set an example to your staff. Show the importance of taking vacations by taking one yourself. Discuss with employees that they need time off to de-stress, that it is in fact healthy to get away from the office. Time away will increase their productivity once they return, rested and relaxed.
Cultivate Family Bonds
If you’re a parent, taking a vacation with your kids can create much-needed quality time as a family. According to the Disney Time Survey, a blind study conducted by Kelton Research, quality family time not only increases while on vacation but parents and children say they are more likely to learn something new about one another during this time, as opposed to when at home.
Here’s what results revealed: 97 percent of parents felt their kids got to know new things about them while on a family trip, and quality time spent with kids, as reported by parents, boosted to 82 percent. And vacationing together as a family made family members more inclined to be more excited (77 percent), relaxed (75 percent), silly (68 percent), calm (54 percent) and even more affectionate (54 percent).
Be Like A Baby to Boost Creativity
Alison Gopnik, professor of psychology and director of the cognitive development lab at the University of California at Berkeley has studied the minds of babies and young children. Her research has led her to understand key differences between babies’ brains and the adult brain. By adulthood, adults have learned how to “dampen down” most areas of our brains, according to Gopnik.
We use one area to specifically focus on one thing or task. Babies and young children, however, haven’t yet developed the ability to pay attention intently to one thing, becoming captivated by multiple stimuli, spreading their attention “all over the place.”
“All adults have the potential to continue to experience the world in some of the ways that children do,” Gopnik told Charlie Rose in an interview. “I think a nice example is like when we go to a foreign city for the first time, and suddenly we’re all like babies. We’re in a world that’s new and rich and everything around us is unexpected…we go to the new place, we have to learn something new and suddenly we experience everything in a new way.”
New stimuli — faces, places, smells, tastes — can help unlock creative ideas. Even if you don’t work in a creative field like the arts or entertainment, tapping into your creativity releases a sense of playfulness and fun, a return to that child-like wonder and curiosity, and can help you sort through challenges at work or in life.
Toss your guilt about leaving the office behind for a little while. Spend time with your family, pursue personal interests, or simply take pleasure in some private down-time.
BUT I CAN’T AFFORD IT.
There are only 2 answers to that common cry.
You actually can’t afford not to take a break. Your health, family life and usefulness demand that you do this.
You CAN afford more than you realised. Some of the biggest costs associated with a vacation are the price of accommodation and the price of having someone look after your own home and pets while you are away. Through Christian House Sitters these are made available FREE OF CHARGE.
Have a look at the website for further details. CLICK HERE
God bless you,
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