The sound of birds early in the morning, long warm nights and the smell of food on the grill can only mean one thing; it’s summer time! Remember how relaxing summer used to be? Remember when you used to take vacation? Have you thought about taking some time off this summer?
As a leader, you’re probably asking yourself, “With all that’s going on in the business, how can I find time for vacation?”
Well, actually you can’t not take time off!
Americans take less time off than any developed nation in the world, working 9 weeks longer per year and having the highest rate of depression. According to a World Health Organization & Harvard study, overwork is correlated with obesity, heart disease, insomnia, and fatigue. We are the only industrialized nation without mandatory paid leave.
“Yes,” you might say, “but we need to get the work done. We can’t afford to take time off!”
In fact, research shows that more work does not correlate with more or better output! It often costs more in mistakes and accidents in the workplace. A lack of time off costs companies in absenteeism, turnover, and rising health costs.
We know that when we have too many computer programs running at once they can freeze up, so we power off, wait a bit, and reboot the system. Humans too, need to regularly power off and reboot our “computer” so it works better.
Worried about deadlines missed or mistakes that might occur in your absence? Taking a vacation can actually be empowering for your team! When you delegate and give others authority to act, it builds their confidence and stretches them to take on expanded responsibilities and new tasks. Morale is boosted when a company honors the need for time off and life balance. This increased employee engagement more than makes up for time spent on vacation.
We only have so much time and energy to expend in our daily lives. No one ever got to their deathbed and wished they’d worked more! While it can seem difficult to start taking time off, the benefits of doing so (less stress, less anxiety, calmer attitude, etc.) will result in more productivity and innovation. You may even have time for family, friends, and community involvement – all those things that make for the balanced life you thought you had no time for!
Make yourself a priority and take care of you. Your business will be better for it.
I specialize in coaching executives and professionals into achieving their goals with life balance. Contact me if you’d like to begin the conversation: Marjorie@ascendconsulting.net