WORK-LIFE BALANCE / AUG. 20, 2015
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Ways Having Weekend Getaways Can Increase Productivity

According to QuickBooks, 82% of small business owners who took a vacation saw an increased level of optimal performance in the workplace. Many people work long hours and sometimes even juggle two jobs. While working hard is good, becoming a workaholic and never taking time off can only hinder your work performance. Would you rather burn out and allow that to damage your professional reputation and possibly ruin your job security?

When you finally do schedule that vacation, don’t take work along with you. Instead, you should take full advantage of time off and focus on completely relaxing and getting refreshed and recharged to be even more productive at work when you return. There are a variety of reasons why you should make sure you use up your vacation time before the year is over, and we’ve listed the different ways having weekend getaways can increase productivity.

See Also: 5 Reasons Traveling Will Make You More Successful

1. They Can Inspire You

Working every day in the same environment can sometimes cause your brain to operate on autopilot. That’s one reason why you should move to a different location to be inspired when brainstorming. The same principle applies to vacations. If you want to continue to be more productive in the workplace, your inspiration level will greatly benefit from taking time off to recharge your creativity. Innovation is a part of the workplace and getting stuck in a rut can only mean it’s the perfect time to schedule a getaway. If you are not able to take two weeks off, try to schedule at least a one week vacation or a weekend getaway.

When you are able to relax and let go of the pressures of your daily job, you will find that your mind can “breathe” again and that your creativity level will be sparked. Clearing away the cobwebs in your brain will allow you to bring some of the creativity and innovation back to the workplace, which will aid in increasing your workplace productivity. It doesn’t matter where you vacation. Simply make an effort to find inspiration in the world around you when you get away. For example, if you take a weekend getaway to a bed and breakfast, get inspired by the historic building and the unique and charming decorations. If you head to the beach, get inspired by the beauty of the natural landscape and let the waves crashing on the shore refresh your senses.

2. You Try New Things

Anytime you encourage or force yourself to try new things, you open up your mind to the benefit of getting outside your comfort zone. Stepping into uncharted territory may be frightening for you, but it can open you up to the benefits of growing through experiencing something new. Sometimes in our daily work lives, we are so used to doing the same thing—answering the phone, taking clients’ calls, dealing with issues, and entering data – that our minds become so focused on getting those tasks done that we don’t even leave room for the possibility of change and finding a better way to do things. We will greatly benefit from going on vacation by taking chances and experiencing new things.

After having those experiences, it will be like hitting the reset button in our mindset and we can have an improved perspective when returning to work. We may see a solution to a problem that we couldn’t find before. Maybe we would then be more open to changing up the day-to-day operations by finding more efficient ways to get work done. For example, when you’re on vacation, you can try new things like taking a road trip across the country without planning it out. Do something you’ve never done before like riding a jet ski or hiking the Appalachian Trail.

3. They Can Benefit Your Health

If you are not in good health, you will hinder your chances of success and productivity in the workplace because you will get ill more often and need to take more sick days. Low attendance at work means that you are not getting work done and that you are also risking losing your job. Taking a weekend getaway will increase your workplace productivity because it has great benefits to your health. Unless you’re taking a two week vacation to Mexico with your husband and his entire extended family, then yes, you’ll find time for rest and relaxation on your vacation and won’t need a vacation from your time away. When you sleep better and get ample rest, your body will begin to function better. Your mood will benefit and you’ll feel more excited and happy.

These feelings of happiness can be carried back into the workplace and they will help you to operate to your maximum potential when you get back to work. That is why it is so vital to schedule vacation time throughout the year so that your health reaps the rewards and you can be more productive at work. Consider going to a resort that has a spa available and get a massage. Relaxation is good, but you should also stay active during your trip. Work out at the hotel gym or find the time to take walks or to go for a jog on the beach.

4. They Improve Your Interpersonal Skills

Maintaining positive relationships in the workplace is vital if you want to continue to grow and develop as a professional and also work as a team player. When you and your colleagues work well together and have a manager who has good interpersonal skills, there will be an increase in productivity in the workplace. However, conflicts occasionally arise and cause issues between employees and sometimes even with their managers. Being cognizant of your own behavior and mental attitude, as it pertains to dealing with your workplace relationships, is important if you want to continue to foster that team spirit. There will be times when you need to take an emotional break from your coworkers, and scheduling a vacation is the perfect remedy for that problem.

When on vacation, work on your personal relationships with family or friends. If you’re taking a solo trip to one of the Caribbean islands, use the vacation time for inner reflection on how you can continue to become a better person. During your vacation you’ll be able to spend time apart from these individuals, whose absence will hopefully make you grow fonder of them, and you’ll be able to return to work feeling refreshed with a new mental and emotional outlook.

See Also: Why You Should Take a Tech-Free Vacation [Infographic]

If you think your work is suffering because your innovation level has dropped, or if your work performance has become stale, consider scheduling a vacation to try to find your inspiration again and to figure out a way to become more efficient. When you feel stressed and worn out, take the time to get away; after all, you won’t be much use to anyone in the office if you get sick and can’t come in to work. When your coworkers are driving you nuts and workplace conflicts have caused you to start daydreaming of greener pastures, talk to HR and schedule that long-deserved vacation.

Have you ever taken a vacation and then seen an increase in productivity? Where did you go to and how did your work performance benefit from a weekend getaway? Let us know in the comments section below!

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