Why Vacations Are Not Wasted Time by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

Recently, when dining out at a restaurant, I overheard the man at the table next to me comment about how he hadn’t taken a vacation day from work in three years. I use the term “comment” loosely, as the tone of his voice indicated he was actually bragging about this fact. He wore it like a badge of honor, as though it made him a better employee, or a better person.

Success at work is important to most people. However, it’s important to have a definition of success that goes beyond how many hours you put in at the office. In fact, some would argue that those who work incessantly are inefficient, as well as lacking the balance in their lives that help them see an alternative of perspectives.summerfun

Taking regular vacations is one of the most important things you can do for your sense of balance, your perspective and your overall well being. Here are three reasons taking a vacation can be good for your work life.

  1. You get physical rest. People who don’t take vacation are more prone to fatigue and have a weakened immune system. Even if your vacation is spent at home, you’ll get the chance to rest up and rejuvenate your body.
  1. You get a mental break. Your mind will benefit from the rest you receive by thinking about things that aren’t work related. This break can give you renewed focus and enthusiasm when you return to work.
  1. You gain perspective. Taking vacation gives you time to see the world outside the focus of work. This can often open your mind up to the kind of “thinking outside the box” that helps you to solve problems creatively and develop innovative ideas that can help your business.
  1. You increase your own level of happiness. There are people who love to work, and who thrive on getting the job done. However, the healthiest people from both a physical and mental perspective are those who have interests and relationships outside of work and who make nurturing those a priority. When you increase your own level of happiness, you will become more productive at work and you will be a person that others want to work with.

So, if you’ve neglected to take your vacation time, schedule some time off right away, and make a plan to use that time for mental and physical rest and relaxation. You’re sure to find that you’re even better at your job after some time away.

The Value of a Vacation by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

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Summer is the season of vacations. Kids are generally out of school, and the weather is warm. But, for busy leaders, the idea of taking a vacation from the day to day activities can be stressful, and may make you feel a little guilty. That feeling is common, but not necessarily in the best interest of your work or personal life.  Here are three reasons you need to take that vacation this year without wasting a minute worrying about it. images

  1. Your brain and your body need rest. No one can go at full speed forever without suffering both physically and mentally. A well planned vacation, where you take time to ensure that everything back at the office is under control may be just the thing that prevents a poorly timed emergency illness. Your emotional and physical health will thank you for the little getaway. You may not even realize how exhausted you are until you take the time to relax.
  1. You will come back with a fresh perspective. Time away helps you to distance yourself from the everyday annoyances and problems of the workplace. By doing so, you often see these issues in a more productive light. You may find that you are able to make some much needed changes upon return from a good vacation. You may also find that you see simple solutions to problems that have been plaguing you for weeks at work.
  1. Your career is not the only thing in your life. Many successful leaders lose family and friendships along the way because of overwork. Don’t let your desire to climb the corporate ladder cause you to risk the relationship with your family and friends. A week or so away helps you to strengthen those family bonds and reminds you of what’s most important.

Vacations are important for many reasons. Truly successful people live a balanced life that allows time for all the things that are important. This allows you to keep a good attitude about both your work and your home life, ensuring that all your relationships remain intact. In addition, taking that time to enjoy some down time will often make you a much more rested and productive leader when you return to the office.

The Value of the Vacation by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC

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The modern workforce is rife with workaholics. Our new philosophy seems to equate “getting ahead” with working more hours. While this philosophy may “look good on paper”; it doesn’t really create a more productive workforce. There are many reasons why an employee with a good work/life balance is a great asset to your team. Here are three good reasons we all need vacations.vacation

1. No one is indispensible. Far too many people believe they can’t take time off because the workplace simply cannot function without them. In reality, this usually means that these people don’t do a good job of delegating or training others. When you plan to take time away from work, it is incumbent upon you to ensure that the most important duties in the office are covered even when you are not there. Ensuring cross training and delegation is important in keeping any business running smoothly.

2. Vacation makes you more productive in the long run. Employees who are overworked are tired and less able to work productively, even if they put in long hours. When you take time to recharge your batteries away from the office, you are able to work more efficiently and productively when you return. In addition, your attitude toward your job is better because you have sufficient time away from it.

3. Your perspective is better. When you spend too much time at work, you may actually begin to lack clarity in evaluating work situations and making important decisions. Regular time away lets you unclutter your mind and think things through in new ways, looking at different alternatives and possibilities. You will likely find that you are able to think more creatively about solutions, either while you are on your vacation, or in the weeks right after coming back to work.

Regular vacations should be part of every employee’s yearly plan. Whether you travel to an exotic location with your family, plan a “staycation” to tackle some home improvement projects, or head out of town to visit relatives, regular breaks from the office are not only an important part of your personal life, but these can be beneficial to improving your performance after you return to work, as well.