As corporate Americans, we believe that we are invincible. We work from sun up to sunset everyday then constantly check email, etc. until we go to bed. In between, we go to the gym, balance family responsibilities and keep up friendships.
However, we are not machines. We need to listen to our bodies and take vacation time. Even if you cannot afford a 5 star vacation, getting away for the office is a necessary part of keeping up your job performance. From the earliest time, paid vacation was given not because the employers wanted to be generous, but rather they realized that by giving employees time off, they came back more productive.
This theory still rings true today. By taking your time off, you get a mental break that should:
- Refresh: being away from work allows your body and brain time to recover from the stresses of daily life. You get time to decompress and recharge your internal battery. It also gives you time to look at projects in a different light when you return.
- Refocus: when you start to weaken at work, your ability to concentrate on projects, issues, and tasks lessens. It takes longer to accomplish things and your To Do list grows. The time off allows your brain to resort and allows you to come back with renewed focus.
- Reenergize: as you begin to suffer from work fatigue, you lose your zeal for your career. Instead of being a beacon, you become an energy sapper. Typically when you return to a position that you genuinely like, you come back and see things with new eyes. Your appetite to perform comes back and you attack issues instead of dreading them.
It is frustrating knowing that for the next three months work stops because of vacations. But come September, you need to be ready to sprint until the end of the year. Don’t be running on fumes because you banked all of your vacation until you could afford to go away. A day here or there may be the difference in how well your body performs.