When you talk about boosting productivity and improving work performance, the tools and strategies—while helpful!—aren’t always fun. In fact, they can even be frustrating. While there are some people who truly enjoy organizing their desk or making to-do lists, boosting productivity can seem like a chore—even if it ends up being life-changing in the long run. However, there’s at least one way of boosting productivity that is downright FUN and RELAXING! Curious what it is?
Take a Vacation!
The most fun, relaxing way to boost productivity is simply to take some time off. Whether you’re taking a Friday afternoon off to explore your city or taking a whole week to go sip margaritas on the beach somewhere, taking a vacation from the stresses of work and life can be an incredible way to enrich your life. By taking a trip or even just taking a day off, you can make yourself happier and less stressed and make yourself more productive when you return to work.
The Problem with Vacations
There isn’t really any problem with vacations, unless you’re vacationing more than you’re working! But most people are their own worst enemy.
Perhaps you tell yourself you can’t take vacations because you have too much to do. You make excuses like, “There’s no one else to do all the tasks that need to be completed. My manager might think I’m not dedicated to my job! What if taking a week off causes me to lose the chance for a promotion?”
You might even say, “Being busy and working all the time is just who I am. It’s what I do. I can’t change my habits.”
This is crazy talk!
Now, I understand why you’d be guilty taking vacations because that’s just what today’s American culture is like. At the same time, these excuses don’t make much sense. You can be a productive, AMAZING worker while still taking regular vacations. Working yourself to death isn’t going to get you any merit points from anybody, and it’ll be hard on your physical and mental health—along with your long-term productivity.
Why Everyone Needs a Vacation
Everyone should take vacations from work. Like I said, not everyone has the money or time for a 2-week cruise, but there are all different kinds of vacation. I’m talking about everything from an afternoon off, to a long weekend, to a week or two away from home.
Vacation and rest and recovery—whatever that means to you—are absolutely essential if you want to continue to create and innovate with high-quality results. Your mind and body need a break to operate at their best. After resting, you’ll come back refreshed and able to handle all your work-related tasks with more energy and purpose.
Why You Might Be Afraid to Take a Vacation
When you base your self-worth on being productive and hardworking, then there’s no time for vacation because you’re operating from a place of fear. You fear failure. You think that if you stop being busy, then you’ll suddenly lose your worth as a person.
If you are questioning your ability to get away from work for a week or a long weekend, it’s time to sit with your fears and think about them. Ask yourself these questions:
- What do I lack faith in? Do I lack faith in the quality of my work or the ability to complete it? Do I feel unsure about my relationship with my boss or colleagues?
- What assumptions have I made regarding your manager’s and company expectations for taking time off? Have I wrongly assumed that my boss will be upset if I take time off? Have I closely reviewed my company’s expectations and allowances for vacation time?
- What is it costing me personally when I don’t take time off? Is my lack of rest and relaxation undermining my physical health? Is it hurting my relationships with my spouse, children, extended family or close friends? Is it taking a toll on my emotional or spiritual health to keep working without a break?
After you think about these things, it’s time to make a plan!
How to Embrace Vacation Time
Are you still feeling a bit apprehensive about taking a vacation? Are you tempted to put it off until next year? Stop right there! Let’s start slow.
My assignment to you is to take a mini vacation. Take an afternoon off, or maybe a whole day. Read a book that you’ve been wanting to read, or go to a movie with your friend or a family member. Walk around and explore your city. Go to a play. These are just a few of the many ways you can relax and rejuvenate yourself in a short amount of time. This can go a long way toward assuaging your fears about vacation!
Or, if you’re willing to go big, you can be bold and face your fear head on: plan ALL your vacations for next year.
I would encourage you to take some time and schedule your future vacations for 2019. All of them. Open your calendar and block your time off. This includes mini vacations, like a Friday afternoon on the golf course, and big ones, like that trip to Costa Rica you’ve been meaning to take with your significant other. By scheduling them now, you can ensure you have dedicated time for rest and rejuvenation. Plus, it can help you get started saving for big trips.
Remember, if you don’t get the proper rest and relaxation, you’re undermining your performance at work— and you’re also undermining your health and happiness. I want you to stop affirming busyness and making it the center of your life. Take your sights off your output for a while and focus on helping yourself thrive.
Work is infinite. There’s always more you could be doing. But, life is finite. You don’t want to go through life working every day and never taking the chance to enjoy yourself. So, go take a vacation!