The Case for Vacation, Take It
By Per Loof, August 4, 2016
If you’re on a tropical beach with a frosty beverage in your hand, relaxing…congratulations! I hope you're enjoying your much deserved vacation. If you’re in an office, vacation deprived and reading this…I have some thoughts for you to consider.
Vacations are important. Taking time off from work is vital for your well-being. You need the opportunity to unplug and recalibrate your mind. Vacation can help stimulate and encourage you, as well as help expand your perspective. On vacation, your routine is disrupted and this can inspire you in unexpected ways. I’ve done some of my best thinking, met wonderful people, and had my greatest ideas while on vacation.
There's a lot of scientific evidence out there that makes the case for taking a vacation. It is not only beneficial for our mental and physical health, but also for your performance at work. There is a misconception that the longer you work, the more successful you will become. It is about the quality of the work. People who don’t take their vacation time don’t necessarily get ahead. Our bodies are like machines and allowing a recovery period from the busy day-to-day at work is similar to a tune up for the body. When I allow myself to disconnect and nothing is competing for my attention, I give myself the opportunity to clear a path for solutions and think about the long term. I can't always see this if I am functioning at a breakneck pace solving issues tactically, rather than strategically.
Vacation is also a test. What happens to an organization when someone is away? Is it business as usual or is it a crisis? If it is the latter, then there is a deeper issue. Time off gives your organization, team or co-worker an opportunity to make decisions, delegate and gain confidence in their abilities. It also allows you to see if your leadership is really working. When you’re unplugged, you can become a better and more confident leader because you see what is accomplished once you plug back in.
If you’re still reading this and aren’t thinking about your next vacation, then I suggest you stop what you’re doing and…GO! A healthier you, a happier office and a more productive workplace is just a vacation away.