March is about to go out like a lamb, and the blooming flowers and rising temperatures have a lot of people thinking about one thing – vacation. In fact, this is a great time of year to start planning your summer vacation away from the office. Before you submit that time-off request though, here’s a thought: can you try for two weeks off?
(Photo Credit: seerickson18/Flickr)
1. Vacations are rare. If you’re planning one, plan a long one.
One of the hardest thing about taking vacation time is finding a way to actually do it. It’s not easy. Between project deadlines, important client meetings, quarterly reviews … there is never a good time to be away. So, once you’ve actually gone through the hard work of asking for, planning, and scheduling a vacation, you might as well really go for it. Unused vacation days are at a record high for a reason; it’s not easy to get away these days. So, while you’re at it, go for two weeks. Who knows the next time you’ll end up taking any significant time off?
2. You’ll feel replenished and inspired after two weeks away in a way you wouldn’t be after just one.
Don Smithmier, CEO and co-founder of GoKart Labs, recently responded to a question on Fortune Entrepreneur Insiders network: “How do you stay inspired to run a business?” In his response, he offers several tips to help keep one’s energy and inspiration up; he also speaks about the importance of taking long periods of time away from the office.
“The difference between a one-week and a two-week vacation will be relatively minor for your business and your team, but potentially massive for you,” Smithmier wrote. “That second Monday morning off feels a whole lot different than the first. And that’s when the good ideas and inspiration can really start flowing.”
3. You can travel AND take care of things around your house.
The tough thing about a week-long vacation or less is that once you’ve taken care of everything in your personal life that you’ve been putting off until your break (cleaning, doctors visits, etc.) there is hardly any time left to just relax. But, if you take two weeks off, you’ll have plenty of time for it all. Similarly, if you plan to travel during your vacation, allowing a rest day (or, how indulgent, maybe even two rest days) before and after the travel will really help you to maximize the benefits of the vacation. It stinks to take a red-eye home the night before you go back to work.
4. You’ll be able to float around in vacation mode for a while.
It takes a few days to really truly settle into a vacation mindset. If you take just a week off, the break is almost over when you finally get there; and, by that point, you feel you need to start gearing up to head back. With a two-week break, you get to dive all the way down to those greatest depths of relaxation and then swim around down there for a bit, rather than just pop right back up.
Vacations help us manage our stress both while we are taking them and also in the future. In order to train your brain for less stress, you need to provide it with some experience operating in that mode. Once you’ve enjoyed a few really relaxing days, you’ll be better able to tap into that mindset and energy when you need it, when you’re back to work.
5. Take a minute to ask your family about this – see what they think you should do.
Here’s something to think about: Do you think that in the future you would ever regret taking two weeks off instead of just one? It’s not very likely. There is so much more to life and living than work. If you have kids, you already know that they grow quickly. If you’re child-free, you still need time off to connect with your loved ones and recuperate. In many ways, life’s too short not to take a two-week vacation, don’t you think? Ask your family what they think you should do. My guess is that their response will leave you feeling pretty sure about your decision.
Tell Us What You Think
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