Travelling has always been a huge passion of mine and I love the experience that travelling brings, as well as the cultural awareness, learning opportunities and adventure, but I also appreciate the break it provides and the chance to recharge the batteries.
The trouble is, more and more people are scrapping their holidays thanks to demanding workloads, when in fact, this is exactly the time you should be taking one.
According to a survey for jobs site Glassdoor by Harris Poll of more than 2,000 people, the average UK employee uses just three quarters (77%) of their total annual leave. The study found that in the past year just 50% of employees have used their full quota.
But if you are one of those people that think if you take a couple week’s break from your computer that the world will fall down, the only person you’re kidding is yourself. Stop playing the hero. To be blunt, you are not the center of the universe, the only person capable of operating an efficient business or pushing forward a project!
Whether you are a business owner or employee, your business or your work could actually benefit from you taking a holiday. Here are 5 reasons why.
A holiday will reveal hidden weaknesses
Many fear that taking a holiday will result in something catastrophic happening within the business or perhaps projects being delayed because you haven’t checked your mails in two weeks. You don’t mean to sound egotistical (well I hope not) but you genuinely feel that you are the vital ingredient in the success, and without you, things will fall down. Rather than this highlighting that you shouldn’t be taking a holiday right now, what this actually highlights is that there are weaknesses in your management and processes.
Perhaps you’re worried that the suppliers won’t deliver on time, as you’re not there to chase them, but this just highlights that you’re suppliers aren’t as trustworthy as they should be.
Or if you’re worried that staff won’t peruse the right activities in your absence, then maybe you haven’t been clear enough on the team’s objectives and priorities are.
Before you go on holiday, write down what is bothering you about taking holiday and then work out how to iron out that chink. If you can sort this out before you take off for a holiday, then this should hopefully improve the overall health of the business as you uncover some hidden weaknesses that you might have previously overlooked.
A holiday will get the creative juices flowing
Taking a holiday will certainly boost creative insight. When do most of your light bulb moments happen? Usually when you are not thinking specifically on the problem, when you’re on the toilet, going for a country walk or just about to doze off? This is because you’ve allowed your brain some space to think creatively!
By taking a well deserved holiday (especially one that will allow for some relaxation, adrenalin filled fun or an eye opener to a new culture) will boost your creativity and you might just be able to learn something new to bring back to your business or work.
A holiday will teach you how to delegate
Delegation is a tricky art to master, even more so as a small business owner as you never really want to give up control of your baby. But without delegation, you’ll burn yourself out by trying to do everything, plus you’ll deny your staff the chance to fully learn the ropes.
Taking a holiday will force you to look at what you can (and cannot) delegate by analysing what you do, what are your priorities and your staff’s skill set.
To help with ‘letting go’ and delegating, a pain free way to help is to set up systems in order that your staff, employees or colleagues know what to do even when you’re not there. Have a set of SOPs (standard operating procedures) or FAQs (frequently asked questions) at hand for them to refer back to once you have delegated the task to them, in order that they can familiarize themselves with how to complete tasks.
A holiday will give you a technology detox
The perils of working in front of a computer are becoming increasingly made aware of, and there is no denying that the technology era has also brought with it its demons – new health issues are emerging such as computer vision syndrome, “text neck” and self esteem issues over who of your “friends” is having a better time than you on Facebook.
The media are increasingly reporting that having a technology break is vital and some top CEOs swear by taking a technology detox once a week, banning the use of emails and mobiles for one day a week. The fact that the phrase “digital detox” has even made its way into the Oxford Dictionary online is proof that we need a break from technology some times.
A holiday will be the perfect place and time for a technology break – with expensive overseas calls and text costs plus your reliance on local WiFi, you’ll hopefully be able to ditch the digital and recharge your batteries!
A holiday will give you a chance to enjoy yourself
What is success to you? Is it to have a million pound business by 35 or become CEO in the next five years? Maybe, but what else constitutes to you seeing yourself as successful and happy? What do you consider “wealthy”?
Wealth shouldn’t just be seen on monetary terms but also quality of life, experience and happiness. After all, what is the point of having millions in the bank if you have no one or no time to share it?
Taking a holiday will benefit you and in turn, your business and work, as recharging the batteries will result in a boost in motivation on your return back to the daily grind. It will also remind you why you slog it out in the office in the first place. Taking a week’s break to sample the delights of the wine regions in the south of France, or taking two weeks to learn how to scuba dive in Thailand will certainly add to your feeling of wealth and success!
Go on. Book that holiday now!
Featured photo credit: morguefile via morguefile.com