For bosses as well as employees, vacations are a very important part of life. They enable us to spend some quality time with our families, doing the things we can’t find the time for during the work weeks – like working on our own little hobbies, or simply relaxing and laying in peace and quiet, if that is what you feel that you need. Some people believe that vacations are a luxury and that only rich people can afford them. Some believe that they can spend that money on something smarter, something they really need, and that the money spent on vacationing is money wasted. But that is not true. Vacations should not be thought of as something optional, but as something you take and enjoy each year. Here’s why:
1. Taking time for yourself will make you more efficient once you go back to work. If you see yourself working all the time, even if you enjoy what you do, after some time you may experience burnout. Or you may simply become less efficient at work because you never have the time to rest and enjoy your life outside of work. Think about work as the time you spend awake and vacation as rest/sleep. When you stay awake for too long you don’t have the energy or efficiency to do things right and fast. But if you have had a good night’s sleep, after you wake up you will feel energetic and you will be able to do things more quickly and according to your potential. So, in order to be as efficient as possible at work, take some time off it occasionally and recharge your batteries. This will consequently bring an improvement to the company you work for, and once they see how vacations have a good impact on you, you will be encouraged to take them more often.
2. Vacations are good for your health. Working all the time can exhaust you and weekends are just not enough for a proper rest. They are good for a short while, but looking at a big picture you need at least two weeks per year to go somewhere and not do or think about work. A study that examined men with high coronary heart disease risk for 9 years showed that those who did not take at least one yearly vacation had a 21% higher chance of dying from any cause, and a 32% higher chance of dying from heart attack. The stress we face every day on the job and everyday life becomes much more easily manageable when you’ve had some time to enjoy the sea, the cocktails on the beach, some good book, etc. You will probably need a few days to get used to not doing any work, but once it happens the real vacation can begin and then you will be able to fully enjoy it.
Simply relaxing and enjoying in everyday things that you can’t find the time to do when you’re working are good enough for a vacation if you can’t afford to go to the seaside or a mountain, but if you can, you will add one more health benefit to the whole experience besides getting rid of stress – clean air (and much healthier than in any city for example) and enough vitamin D if you indulge in some sun tanning.
3. When you come back from a vacation you feel replenished and more motivated to excel at work. Besides being more effective, when you’ve had some time to rest and enjoy yourself with your family and/or friends, you will come back to work more motivated to do a good job and to be creative and solve problems the best you can. You will feel a certain amount of satisfaction and happiness and that directly translates to higher motivation. Like efficiency, motivation also has a lot to do with rest, and again we can make the sleep/being-awake comparison. If you don’t sleep enough, you are exhausted and unmotivated, but if you are well rested, your motivation and energy levels are high and you are able to do a better job. So, a vacation actually makes you want to work more and better.
It also gives you a new perspective when thinking about problems, and the chances of finding a creative solution are better than when you are exhausted.
4. Vacation allows you to stay up late and act inappropriately for your age. Basically, when we are working we are careful not to do something dumb that would harm our job position or personal life – we try to go to bed on time, and because of that we miss parties, fun movies, romantic camping getaways… Well, vacations give you the opportunity to make up for that and let yourself stay up late for one night and have the time of your life. Do the things you wanted to do, but were never able to include in your busy schedule. Consequently, you will be a happier and more fulfilled person with a couple of more amazing experiences to retell your friends at dinner parties.