The workload really isn’t that big. It just seems that way at the moment. Your clients really aren’t that demanding. It just feels that way right now. The stack of projects at your desk isn’t that huge. It just seems like Mount Everest this morning.
Maybe what you need isn’t necessarily a way to squeeze a few more productive minutes out of your day. Maybe what you need is a vacation.
There are good reasons to spend a little time on sun-dappled beaches and cool or refreshing mountain tops rather than staring at stacks of invoices and requisition requests. If you’re tired and stressed out, you may already be able to guess at some of them.
A vacation can recharge you and help prevent tunnel-vision. Let’s face it-when you’re seeing the same gray walls over and over again it can get you in a rut and hinder your ability to think creatively. Instead of brilliant innovations that would set you apart from your competitors, all you can come up with are in-the-box solutions because, in effect, you’re working in a box all day. For much the same reason, getting away also helps prevent groupthink. A tightly-knit team is a powerful tool, but working with the same people day-in and day-out with nary a break in sight can prevent you from seeing outside solutions to problems.
Taking some time away is also good for your health. Work, even work you enjoy, is stressful. Study after study has shown that recreation is one of the best stress busters around. An annual vacation can reduce the risk of heart attack in men by 30 percent and women by as much as 50 percent. It also improves day-to-day health, which means that any time you lose to a vacation is more than made up for in fewer illnesses, less sick days taken and better overall morale.
A vacation can not only mean more time spent in the office the rest of the year, it can mean that time is better spent. We’ve all heard of those wonderful geniuses who crank out brilliant thoughts on nothing more than coffee and three hours of sleep a night. Well, they’re the exception rather than the rule. Vacations are the perfect cure for creative burnout, and studies have found that reaction times and productivity can increase by up to 40 percent after a vacation.
Your time is one of the most precious assets you have, so take care of your business by taking time for a time out. Beach time may actually be some of the most productive time you spend all year.