I just returned from an incredible trip to America’s largest state (Alaska). For the first time since spring break my senior year of college, I took a full week off of work and did something that had nothing to do with work.

I’m not saying you need to go anywhere exotic, but taking time away from your office is essential to your physical, emotional, and professional health. Here are some real reasons why you should make sure you don’t have any days to carry over next year:

Your team needs you to take a break. In stressful or high-demand work environments, it can sometimes become overwhelming to have to present to a manager all the time. When you’re not there, this gives your team some time to focus. Not only that, it gives them a confidence boost that they’re able to hold down the fort when you’re not around.

Your brain will work much better if you give it some time to clear. Full time employment is stressful. And that’s not even including what it takes to be a functioning human being in today’s world. Signing off of email and disconnecting as much as possible from your work world gives you plenty of time to reconnect with your personal world, your career, your dreams and aspirations, and even your mental health.

Gaps in process might become more apparent. When you’re not around, communication gaps usually make themselves known. Whether it’s a project that your team wasn’t briefed on or a project that came up and sat for a few days because no one knew whose job it was, these things will help you and your team come up with new game plans for future occurrences.

You might think of something awesome. When the daily grind of office life isn’t forcing its way to the front of your frontal lobe, you’ll have more space to actually think and create ideas. And some of those ideas might make your boss want you to take more time away from the office! 

The world is a really cool place…and so is your own city. A little culture never hurts anyone. In fact, it brings new and interesting perspectives, and glimpses into the places your donors live. Enjoy it!

So get out there! Take an awesome vacation! And let us know what happens when you get back.