It’s that time of year again when the beer commercials promise long days of sun-soaked fun and ice cold brews while assuring us day-drinking won’t impact our beach-ready bodies. With empty hopes aside and vacation days upon us, it’s often hard to find a way to truly unplug and recharge. Whether or not you admit to working while you’re on vacation, it can be counterproductive. It’s actually paramount to let the mind rest, your body reboot, and leave the rat race behind, in order to do better work.
We’re all facing the same worries with the approach of vacation days. Do I have everything done? Will they be able to handle the workload without me? Can I really get away for that long? And probably scariest of all: What will I come back to if I don’t keep at least one eye on work?
These are all viable and well-founded concerns, but the harsh reality is that if you don’t allow yourself some mental health days, you’re going to be a useless mess of nerves until you avoid resting again next year. The fact is that employees who actually tap into their vacation time are more productive, easier to work with, and have a higher performance rate than those who pass it by.
For workaholics, what we need versus what we think we need is usually worlds apart. Giving ourselves permission not to do anything, let our mind wander, and our body recharge is in direct opposition to the daily routine we’ve built. We have to break our own mold and detach from we’ve worked so hard to create. Letting go of control and allowing someone else to handle what we believe only we can, might make things more stressful in the short run, but you’ll see the payoff down the road when you can delegate confidently.
This all seems pretty straightforward and driven by common sense. But once you book that trip to the sugar-sand beaches of paradise and have to let someone else help you with the project you’ve been working on for months, the true trial begins.
The moral of the story is that we, as work ethic-focused employees/employers, need for the sake of ourselves and the business, to unplug, tune out, and recharge every so often. Medically, it prolongs our career; business-wise, it helps us to work smarter; personally, who couldn’t use a fruity drink on a postcard-perfect beach?