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These Highly Successful People Tell You To Take Vacations From Work

These Highly Successful People Tell You To Take Vacations From Work

Americans have been tethered to their jobs ever since the Great Recession took a major blow to the economy of the United States. According to USA Today, for a household to live the “American Dream” as of 2014, the ideal lifestyle costs $130,357 per year. This includes mortgage, children, food, retirement planning, and health care. The average household income in the United States as cited by Census ACS survey is $52,250. For every Americans to afford the “American Dream”, taking a vacation is not an option. The fear of losing their jobs and getting left behind deters American to take vacations from work.

Many renowned and successful people, in terms of wealth and hard work, are aware that vacations are important in maintaining high-quality performance, not just as a reward for hard work and an outlet to release stress. Here are 12 renowned and successful people that may inspires you to grab that vacation you’ve been setting aside.

 1. Bill Gates

This year, Bill Gates is the richest man in the world according to Forbes. He is the founder of Microsoft. Bill Gates undertakes two, week long retreats each year. He evaluates the works of his company, devises new ideas, and reads the latest trends. He calls these two, week long retreats as his “Think Weeks.”

 2. Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer is the current CEO and president of Yahoo! Inc. Amidst all the issues surrounding her position and ethics at the multinational internet corporation, Mayer still finds time to rest and works 10-11 hours a day. According to CNN, Mayer said: “I pace myself by taking a week-long vacation every four months.”

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 3. John Donahoe

As CEO of the multinational corporation and e-commerce company, eBay, John Donahoe encourages people to take their vacations to reorganize their work schedule and to rejuvenate their spirit. “From time to time, I like to take a “thinking day.”

These are pre-scheduled, uninterrupted times to step away from the chaos, zero-base my time, and refocus on the issues that are most important.

4. Richard Branson

The founder of Virgin Group, which comprises more than 400 companies, Richard Branson adapted the “unlimited vacation time” for his employees at the Virgin’s US. He hopes this policy will strengthen the relationship of the employee and company and will have positive impact on the overall organization.

“How can you find time to get to know your children if you’re working with the very little holiday time you’re given?” cited by Branson stressing the importance of taking vacations from time to time.

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5. Tim Cook

Tim Cook is the current CEO of Apple Inc., the company that produces the iPad, iPhone, and iPod products. He recently gave his employee a Thanksgiving Week off due to the successful launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

According to Cook, “Our people are the soul of our company, and we all need time to refresh and renew.”

 6. Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg was the Vice-President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google and she is now the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. She constantly spends quality time with her two young children. How does she manage this? She leaves her office at 5:30 PM every day.

Sheryl Sandberg said that “Hey! I am leaving work at 5:30. And I say it very publicly, both internally and externally. And I hope that means other women and men, importantly men, feel comfortable going home seeing their kids” in a video by Makers.com.

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 7. JJ Ramberg

JJ Ramberg did not take vacations seriously when her company Goodshop.com was just starting, but now that it had grown into a success, she takes vacations incredibly serious as it helps her ward off burnout. “The successful entrepreneur will figure out what’s not working — and then come up with solutions, whether that’s hiring help, devising a new business strategy or simply taking a vacation to recharge the battery.”

 8. Jim Mofatt

Jim Moffatt is the chairman and CEO of Deloitte Consulting LLP. He wrote an article entitled “Take a Serious Vacation: A CEO’s Advice to all CEO’s” to encourage people, most specifically CEO’s, to take vacations from their professions.

“If you really unplug, you will start thinking about the long term, strategic issues, and what we have to do to be successful over the 9-to-24-month period, and that is essential.” Jim Moffatt wrote.

 9. Sarah Michelle Gellar

The star of the hit-series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, Sarah Michelle Gellar, knows the importance of taking vacations from work. She said in an interview by Cosmopolitan, “We work really hard, and you have to remember once in a while that you can actually stop working and appreciate things. I’m definitely leading a much slower life now that I’m not working every single day on a television series.”

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 10. Larry Page

The co-founder of the world-renowned company Google, Larry Page’s contributions to the World Wide Web is revolutionary. He thinks that reducing the work time of employees will leads to positive results and overall greater performance of an organization.

In a chat with Fireside, Larry Page said, ‘Would you like an extra week of vacation?’ They raise their hands, 100% of the people. ‘Two weeks vacation, or a four-day work week?’ Everyone will raise their hand. Most people like working, but they’d also like to have more time with their family or to pursue their own interests.”

11. Oprah Winfrey 

Dubbed as the “Queen of all Media”, Oprah Winfrey has been ranked as the richest African-American of the 20th century. As a host and producer of her own talk show, the Oprah Winfrey Show, she has taken her entire staff and their families on lots of tours – a Mediterranean cruise in 2009 and an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii in 2005.

Talk about generosity and the importance of taking a vacation, way to go Oprah!

12. Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods is one of the most successful golfers in our time, and one of the highest-paid athletes in the world. Interestingly, he takes a vacation before heading on to major tournaments so he can spend time with his kids and girlfriend Lindsey Vonn. Amidst all the issues surrounding him, he still knows the importance of taking a break. “We had a good little time,” Woods said of his vacation with girlfriend Lindsey Vonn and his two kids. “We toured a little bit and even played a little Putt-Putt, which I won every single time.”

Featured photo credit: Spring Break Joy.jpg/clconroy via cdn.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.

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Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

Reference

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