You need a vacation.
This is most obviously true if you are overworked and feel like you’re on the edge of burning out, but even if you don’t feel burnt out, studies suggest that vacations are good for your health. In spite of this, for the past 20 years, Americans have been using fewer and fewer vacation days. And these are paid vacation days, so using them doesn’t cost any money. In fact, by not taking them, you are donating your time to your company for free.
Why do people let paid vacation days go unused? One common answer is that people feel like they need to devote the time to work. But skipping your vacations won’t help you get promoted any faster. And if being productive is your top priority, you may be interested to know that numerous studies have shown that vacations can actually boost productivity.
When you think about it, this isn’t so surprising. You go to sleep each night because your brain and body need a break from being active the rest of the day. Sleep recharges us, and if you’ve ever tried to do complex work while sleep-deprived, you know how important it is. But just as our day needs a portion of time set aside as a sleep break, other timespans likewise need a break period.
Brief breaks every hour or so during your work day help productivity, and likewise, your year can benefit greatly from some time away from work. So if you want to be productive, skipping vacation is actually one of the worst things you can do.
The other big reason people don’t take vacations is the expense. Here are some tips for dealing with that:
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