At this time of year, many people are on the verge of burning out. A recent study found that almost half of Canadians felt “vacation-deprived”.
The end of 2012 is in sight (even if your long To Do List doesn’t agree). And while it might seem counter-intuitive, a vacation is often exactly what we need when we feel buried. Read on for the top ten reasons why vacations lead to a boost in productivity.
Ten Reasons Why A Break Will Do You Good
1) After a break, you come back to work more productive. A large study at the Boston Consulting Group found significant workplace benefits when consulting teams disconnected and took breaks.
2) You’ll catch up on your sleep, which also makes you more productive.
3) Just like athletes, professionals need time for rest and recovery.
4) Creativity is often fostered during downtime. Solving difficult problems often occur with both a “hunker down and work through it” and a Eureka moments. Often, it requires a little of both. Letting your subconscious continue to hammer away at a problem is important. Companies like Google and 3M embrace the importance of unstructured thinking time for creative thinking.
5) You will be healthier. From a lower risk of coronary heart disease to lower stress, there are many health benefits. The Framingham Heart Study found that women who took the fewest vacations proved to be twice as likely to get a heart attack as those who took the most.
6) You will make better decisions. The book Willpower by John Tierney and Ron Baumeister state that even simple midday breaks can rejuvenate willpower and improve decision making.
7) You will have better relationships and work-life balance.
8) You might find time for some volunteer work. Volunteering in turn leads to many benefits including improved health, the satisfaction of giving back, and even career advancement.
9) You will have a chance to burn off all of those holiday goodies. The number one cited reason for not exercising is a lack of time. Overworked people often bump physical activity. Take a break; free up some time; and give yourself permission to dedicate time to fitness.
10) You will be a more valued employee: A 2006 Ernst & Young study found that for each additional ten hours of vacation employees took, their performance reviews were 8% higher the following year. (Find more information in Tony Schwartz’s book The Way We Are Working Isn’t Working.
I hope that these reasons inspire you to fully embrace the upcoming break. You’ve earned it!
And as you head into 2013, strive to incorporate regular breaks and vacations throughout the year.