Tis the season for parties, too much shopping, sweet treats…and the dreaded choice between taking the time to spend with friends and family and getting through that one last project. America is known as the “no-vacation vacation,” as most employees only get a few weeks off per year to take a break and some employers give even less.
But taking a break from work is actually critical to doing well professionally – especially if you’re the entrepreneur type and rarely even take weekends off. There is something to be said for work-life integration – I can’t even remember that last time I took more than 24 hours without doing some sort of “work” – but a true vacation can be critical to our professional and personal health.
According to CNN, stepping away from work can help inspire new creativity. “Detaching from a familiar environment can help get new perspectives on everyday life,” says Adam Galinsky, professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to travel across the world to find new sources of motivation – though CNN highly recommends it. Instead, simply unplugging from work and hitting the slopes – or even just heading outside – can be incredibly beneficial.
A true vacation can also help prevent burnout, which entreupreners experience all too often as they work 80+ hour weeks. In a report by Psychology Today, 76 billing and accounting workers were surveyed about their exhaustion levels before, during and after a two-week vacation. Burnout dropped sharply during the break, according to the report. Psychology Today also noted that previous studies have shown that vacations boost performance and curb absenteeism – which could also translate to increased motivation for those who work for themselves.
As the holidays are quickly approaching, now may never be a better time to unplug for a few days so you can de-stress and personally recharge for the new year.
Did you take a vacation this year (or are you planning to?) Let us know why or why not in the comments!