Over 54% of American’s didn’t take all of their paid vacation days last year. WHAT? 54%! Wow, that is crazy. We all claim that our lives are so busy and all it we do is hustle and bustle, yet over half of us aren’t taking the days we are paid to take off.
Some people think they don’t have time for vacation, others are fearful of leaving someone else in charge and others feel bad for taking days off even though they have them to use.
Everyone needs a break – they need time to refresh, renew and reenergize! When we get in too much of a routine our productivity and creativity start to decrease. We feel less challenged, less motivated and more stressed.
I work with a lot of people in sales and one of the things I’ve always told my employees and my clients is – take a vacation! When it comes to business I know people who have come up with some of their greatest business ideas while on vacation. So why should you take a vacation?
A few of the benefits of taking a vacation are below.
*Your brain needs to rest! The human brain, similar to other organs in the body, is not designed to go full throttle 100% of the time. It needs rest to recoup and continue to function. A vacation allows you to avoid burnout, turning your mind away from business problems and to activities you enjoy. The resulting boost of “feel good” brain chemicals, such as serotonin, can have a big effect on the mood you have when you get back to the office. You also might experience other physiological benefits from the reduction in stress, such as lowered blood pressure. When you feel better both emotionally and physically, you’ll be able to tackle work issues or come up with new ideas with much more positivity and energy. You’ll likely be able to maintain your interest in your business better, too.
*Inspires creativity. Vacation helps you see new places, meet new people, and have new experiences. And all of these moments can help inspire new opportunities and also bring new ideas from unexpected places.
Depending on what kind of business you own, you might find unusual bits of inspiration from almost anywhere. If you’re in the restaurant business, you might get a new idea for your menu from one of the restaurants you visit during vacation; you might get the inspiration for a new product name or color combination for a logo design, or get some sort of bigger-picture inspiration for something to do totally differently at your business.
Most important, you can try to bring back some of the positive energy and exploratory spirit that you find on vacation and put it to work at your business. What did you like about how you felt on vacation? Did you feel differently or “better” than usual? How can you make changes in your daily routine so you can feel that way more often?
*Let go! In addition to getting new ideas for things “to do” for your business, vacation can also give you inspiration of what “not to do.” Vacation can help clarify your thinking and focus your mind in a way that resolves long-simmering problems and indecisions.
After a short vacation you might discover you no longer want to offer a certain product or compete in a certain market; or maybe you finally realize that you no longer want to keep battling with an uncooperative client. You might also decide it’s finally time to fire an underperforming employee. Vacation can help you realize which fights are worth fighting and which things need to be let go.
*Your employees learn to be leaders. Simply put, if you are always around to lean on, your employees never really get a chance to stand on their own two feet. They won’t get to practice taking all-in initiative or taking more supervisorial roles, which might mean a stagnation of their confidence. With you out of the picture for a few days or weeks, however, your workers can take the driver’s seat, possibly bringing a host of new ideas to the business table. If immediate innovation and subsequent profits aren’t convincing enough, remember, too, that you’ll probably want to move on to other ventures or retire eventually. Your vacations are your chance to see who has the gumption, intelligence, social skills and creativity to protect what you’ve built long after you’re gone.
The benefits of taking a vacation are so amazing you probably should take one now! I mean you read this on the internet so it must be true, right?