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5 Reasons Why Your Boss (or Business) Wants You to Take a Vacation

5 Reasons Why Your Boss (or Business) Wants You to Take a Vacation

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.

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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.

For example.

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.

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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.

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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?

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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

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

More About Boosting Productivity

Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

Reference

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