You might be lucky enough to have paid vacation time, but that doesn’t mean that you use it. Recent research shows that half of U.S. workers left vacation time unused last year. If you were one of them, this year could be different — but only if you hurry up and take advantage of these last days of summer.
Of course, if you habitually leave vacation time on the table, you probably have a ton of arguments about why you can’t take the time, including a hectic schedule at work and the desire to impress your boss with your dedication. The problem is that working all the time doesn’t make you a better employee, teammate, or person. Here’s why taking a last-minute break is the best idea for you, your family, and your career.
Time Off Increases Productivity
Burnout is real. If you never take a few days for yourself, the quality of your work will end up suffering over time. There’s an increasing amount of research that suggests stress and tiredness impact overall feelings of motivation and positivity. While it’s tempting to think that working around the clock helps get results, the bottom line is that you’re a person — not a robot. Allow yourself to recharge, and then come back to the office ready to perform at your best again.
Let Your Colleagues Miss You
If you feel like you’re unable to spend much time with family and friends, choose to make them a priority for a week or two. If you truly do amazing work when you’re on the clock, your colleagues will be happy to see you back when your days off are up. You shouldn’t feel like you need to be chained to your desk in order to be an effective worker.
Have Experiences That Inspire
It’s important in life to try new things and visit new places. Through our experiences, we build social skills and expand our horizons, building our knowledge and understanding of all sorts of issues. You never know what you’ll come across that will help inspire and rejuvenate. Whether your industry is considered creative or not, it’s crucial to keep challenging yourself so that ideas continue to flow and you grow as an individual.
A Staycation Works, Too
Don’t think that you have to spend a lot of money — or even leave your city — to recharge those batteries. A staycation can work just as well if you commit to leaving your email alone and not checking your phone every few minutes. Revisit some of your favorite local spots, or spend time gardening or golfing — whatever you truly enjoy. Not having the money for a luxurious trip shouldn’t be a barrier to taking that well-earned vacation time.
Tell Us What You Think
Are you planning a last-minute summer break from work? Let us know in the comments or join the discussion on Twitter.