Science says that if you want to be productive at work, you need to you take a vacation once in a while.
The title of this article sounds counter-intuitive; if you’re not at work, how can you be productive at work? Science, however, teaches us that if you want to be productive at work, and even excel at your job, you need to take vacations. And really take a vacation – no working while you are supposed to be taking a break.
Stress Takes a Toll on Your Physical and Mental Health
Work can be stressful, and chronic stress takes a toll on your physical and mental health. As Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne advises in Psychology Today, “When you’re stressed out and tired, you are more likely to become ill, your arteries take a beating, and you’re more likely to have an accident. Your sleep will suffer, you won’t digest your food as well, and even the genetic material in the cells of your body may start to become altered in a bad way. Mentally, not only do you become more irritable, depressed, and anxious, but your memory will become worse and you’ll make poorer decisions.” As horrible as all of these symptoms of stress sound, poor memory and making bad decisions will not help you be more productive at work or excel at your job.When you're stressed out and tired, you are more likely to become ill, your sleep will suffer, and even the genetic material in the cells of your body may start to become altered in a bad way.Click To Tweet
Recovery From Work is Necessary for Good Work Performance
You’ve heard it before, “All work and no play makes Jack or Jill a very dull person.” Here at Payscale, we are all for working hard and doing your best — while you’re at work. Just as athletes need time to recover after a game or race, the rest of us need time to relax and recharge, as well.
Vacations have the potential to reduce stress. People come back from vacation feeling energetic and ready to take on the world. Vacations also give people time to gain perspective on problems, relax with families and friends, and get a break from the daily routine.
Make Your Time Off Count
Research in organizational psychology has identified recovery from work as an important mechanism that explains how employees can stay energetic, engaged and healthy. Vacationing has beneficial effects upon workers. A study discussed at the Association for Psychological Science, however, warns against relying on one vacation to get you through a stressful year at work. Rather, take time on the weekend to hike a trail or visit the beach instead of going into the office to work overtime. Visit with friends or family. Don’t forget to relax and rejuvenate on a regular basis.A psychological study recently warned against relying on one vacation to get you through a stressful year at work. Rather, take time on the weekend to hike a trail or visit the beach instead of going into the office to work overtime.Click To Tweet
Take those full-week vacations at least once per year, as well. When you do, make them count. Plan ahead so you can delegate your responsibilities, instead of having to check in with work. Then, get off the grid. Turn off the computer and resist the temptation to check your phone every hour. When you return to work, your productivity will increase because you are relaxed, energetic and rejuvenated.
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK
Do you find it hard to take time off from work? Why? We want to hear from you! Tell us your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.