Take A Holiday!
Regardless of who we are each year we need to take a holiday or some annual leave to recharge the batteries and to relax. I started some annual leave yesterday and will depart to Langkawi on Tuesday for a couple of weeks. But this got me thinking...why should we take a holiday?
The reasons that I like to take a holiday is to have something to look forward to and as a focus of why I am working. It increases my productivity when I return and it relieves stress. It is also a great way to connect with my wife and children. Let's look at each of these in more detail.
Reason 1 - Reward
By having a holiday booked well in advance you create a focus of why you are working with a reward at the end. Usually I book my holiday 11 months in advance. As a family we spend time researching different destinations, checking web sites for deals, debating the pros and cons of theme parks (the kids!) verses culture (my wife!) and sporting events (me!). At the end we usually agree on something.
Being from Australia with family in Europe we usually travel to Europe every 4 years for a long holiday (4-6 weeks), but we found that having short haul trips to the Pacific, Asia or the USA enables us all to have at least a goal to work towards. The excite builds as we get closer and we tend to work harder as we want to complete all tasks before we depart. Going to Langkawi is something different this year - a resort on a beach, not our usual trip but relaxing all the same.
So having a goal and target works for me, especially when I know that I can achieve deep relaxation, read a few books and switch off.
Reason 2 - Productivity
Annual leave is the best way for an employee to recharge the batteries. In Australia we are entitled to 4 weeks annual leave per annum. From an employer point of view a staff member taking 4 weeks off can create issues, however the work effort upon return increases significantly. You can also use this length of departure from this business to seconded a developing person into the role for your talent pool management.
Research also demonstrates that people don't relax within the first week of annual leave. This first week we are still thinking about work and are connected to the activity. By the second week this reduces and deep relaxation can occur. I really believe that an employee should take a least 2 weeks off each time to ensure that they get at least 1 week of deep relaxation.
From a personal point of view I enjoy long holidays and this holiday is 2 weeks, so at least 1 week of deep relaxation!
Reason 3 - Stress
Back sometime ago I wrote a blog on managing stress. The key point about stress for me is:
- When I am feeling stress levels rising to alter the stressors by focusing on what I can achieve and taking time to evaluate the situation and how to gain an outcome that benefits everyone
I need to be conscious of when I am under pressure and ensure that I work on what I can achieve and to still to take time to relax and refresh.
The best way that I can do this is by taking a holiday at least once a year!
Reason 4 - Family
Being with the family can be hard in our normal day-to-day life. During the week we are all busy with work and school. I also tend to be away from home at least 1 night a week. Weekends can be a nightmare with chores, entertaining and a myriad of sporting events.
So holidays become a time when everyone is together, interacting and having unique experiences together. While the first couple of days can be tough with younger children, once the boundaries and routine kicks in it can be an enjoyable time of hanging out together. At the end of the day we work to live not live to work and having a holiday as a family is the reward.
Taking my own advice
So that to me is the reason for taking a break of at least 2 weeks and getting away, whether this be done the road at a local caravan park or trekking across the globe, we all need to get away sometimes.
I'm going to take my own advice, switch off and go on holidays and stop thinking about work and blogging on hubpages! Stayed tuned in a fortnight for my holiday blog on Langkawi.
See you after the holiday!