Why Taking Time off Actually Makes You More Productive

Why Taking Time off Actually Makes You More Productive

As you’ve likely noticed, it’s the end of the year. And as this time of year tends to go, most people are feeling pretty eager to take themselves on a holiday.

You’re tired. You’re over it. You want to delete your emails from your phone and sit on a beach somewhere. After the mess that has been 2020, you deserve it.

But what you may not realise, friend, is that this holiday you’re so craving is actually beneficial to your working life, too. Time to call the boss, perhaps?

Let’s take a peek at the information floating around on this area.

What does taking a break do for your productivity?

A little while back we chatted about the impact of burnout and how to tell if you’re headed in that direction. This is very much related – especially in a year like 2020. But the data has long suggested that not only is time off good for your mental health, but it also helps you produce better work.

Back in 2016, Harvard Business Review assessed studies focused on American workers and the impact days off, or a lack thereof, had on their performance.

They wrote:

“Statistically, taking more vacation results in greater success at work as well as lower stress and more happiness at work and home.”

Pretty straightforward, yes?

What’s interesting, however, is that according to HBR, not all vacations were created equal. If you leave planning to the last minute, the outlet claims that the stress of putting it all together almost negates the benefits of going on holiday.

Which kinds of holidays work best?

Travel and Leisure magazine reports that a study shared by mattress review website Sleep Judge suggested 11 to 15 days was where the real benefits were seen. Pivoting back the HBR assessments, the website shared that booking your travel one month out, and ensuring your trip is a decent distance away from your work will help, too.

What kind of benefits are we talking about?

Okay, so you’ve booked your road trip or 10 days away. What benefits should you be able to see?

Well, studies suggest that time off can give you perks like improved sleep quality, and a brighter mood. Depending on the rest you get, holidays have also been connected to increased energy levels (as long as you’re not super messed up by jet lag and exhausted from no downtime). Quality rest, a sunny mood and a refreshed headspace are all big pluses for your general health as well as for your productivity on your return to work.

In addition to all that, Forbes has also pointed out that regular breaks lead to longer, healthier lives which you clearly would want for your employees.

Long story, short: you should take a break. You should plan it well (no rushing!) And you should ensure it’s for a solid chunk of time. Consider this your excuse to book that fancy holiday you’ve been dreaming of.

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