Well before the lockdowns resulting from COVID-19, I’d taken some amazing trips. As we are becoming more mobile, I can’t help but think of an incredible trip I took many years ago, as it was my first vacation since spring break my senior year of college. It was also before the hyper-connected world we have since become a part of. A week of driving and camping in Colorado.
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 or even far away, but taking time away from your work is essential to your physical, emotional, and professional health. Research has shown that even just thinking about taking a vacation has benefits! Here are some real reasons why you should make sure you don’t have any days to carry over next year:
It helps your team. 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.
It helps your brain. Our work is stressful. 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.
It helps process. 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.
It helps creative thinking. When the daily grind of office life and back-to-back Zoom meetings 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!
It can happen anywhere. There’s no need to hop on a flight, boat, or a train. You can unplug and explore the world around you. Pretend to be a tourist in your own or nearby neighborhoods or visit a nearby attraction. Enjoy it!
Stay well! Take an awesome vacation! And let us know what happens when you get back.