(By Lisa Thal) I decided to plan a vacation to Florida with my sister Tracy. As in many places, it’s been a long winter here, filled with rain. We were ready to get away from the madness and embark on a getaway to the Sunshine State. To do that, I had to complete my to-do list.
The first step was booking the trip. The next step was preparing and making sure my business was in order so I could get away for a few days. I often discuss with co-workers how amazing it is that we can be late for work or a meeting due to traffic or other setbacks, but we could never imagine missing our vacation flight! In some cases, we even make sure we arrive early.
When a vacation is on the horizon, we find ourselves getting more focused on the priority items that need to be completed before we leave. We delegate some tasks to others so we can make sure our clients are taken care of in our absence. We work late into the night answering e-mails and responding to voicemails. But finally, we’ve checked everything off the to-do list and it’s vacation time!
Taking time off can not only help you, it can also help your team. Here are three reasons to encourage yourself and your employees to take full advantage of earned time and make it a priority to check “Vacation” off your to-do list.
1. Improve Performance
One way to improve performance is to take (and give) time away. Ernst & Young found that for every 10 additional hours an employee took off, their performance rating improved by 8 percent. On the flip side, vacation deprivation can cause resentment and burnout.
It goes back to the importance of rest. Just as we need sleep every night to feel our best, we occasionally need time away from work to perform to our highest potential. Stepping out of your routine, resetting your body, and clearing your mind can provide motivation and give you more energy when you’re back in the office. But here’s the excellent part many people don’t realize: taking a vacation can benefit not only you, but also your revenue. The most obvious benefit of a vacation is the personal relaxation and lowering of stress levels, but think about how that impacts your work life once you return to the office.
Are your work days filled with meetings and deadlines that leave you little time to just think? You need time to strategize for your personal and professional growth. Vacation time creates awareness of the endless possibilities for you. You gain a great perspective when you go to a different environment and begin to look at your business in a new way. You also get insights and ideas from how other companies create customer engagement.
Time away can provide you the peace, quiet, creativity, and space to focus some thoughts on strategy. There is something about sitting in a chair looking at the vast ocean that shifts your mind to focus on the big picture: “Am I happy with where my business is today? Do I have the right people and right systems in place? What improvements can I make to grow my revenue and coach my team’s outcomes?”
When you plan a vacation, it creates excitement and allows you to look forward to something. It gives you that extra emotional boost each day for why you choose to go to work. “All work and no play” is difficult to sustain. In order to go on vacation, you have to work to pay for it. It’s time to pick up a good book, listen to a podcast, play golf, take a long walk, go bike riding, and create fun memories with your family and kids. It’s time to connect and have fun! I encourage you to take advantage of these special moments.
There you have it. Now add “Vacation” to your to-do list. Power off your phones and computers. There are no more excuses, and you can trust your business and revenue will improve when you get back!
Lisa Thal is the general sales manager for Hubbard Interactive Cincinnati. She’s also the author of Three-Word Meetings: A Simple Strategy to Engage, Inspire and Empower Your Team. Get it on Amazon.com.