Monday, August 13, 2012

Vacations Are Good For Business!


Cambodian fishermen row their boats on the Mek...

Elena Baj, Contributor
Founder and CEO of
Black Monthly Schedule Planner
Black Monthly Schedule Planner (Photo credits:
Last summer I went on holiday, but I didn’t take a vacation.  I continued firefighting and stayed connected to the office in this crazy, 24/7 working world we inhabit.  ... I never recharged physically or mentally.
... This year will be different.  I am resolved to take a vacation…as in unplug, disconnect, chill. And I am encouraging my employees – “thoroughbreds” all who race until they drop — to do the same.  Vacations are good for my business.   Here’s why…
1)   Anticipating Departure Increases Productivity:  Call it the “superman”/ ”superwoman” syndrome, but as my departure date looms I find I am possessed with getting things done — crossing things off my to-do list, tying up loose ends…attending to projects that have suffered sorely from neglect.  ...
Main health effects of sleep deprivation (See ...
Main health effects of sleep deprivation (See Wikipedia:Sleep deprivation). Model: Mikael Häggström. To discuss image, please see Template talk:Häggström diagrams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
2)   Unplugging Unclutters the Mind: On vacation, after banishing sleep deprivation with solid sleep and hours of gloriously unscheduled time, the cobwebs evaporate and my mental clarity returns.  ... On vacation I am able to think strategically about my business’s future because I’ve given myself the gift of a peaceful mind. The strategic insights I gain are invaluable and allow me to set new goals and plans for the upcoming period.
English: Flowchart for problem solving.
English: Flowchart for problem solving. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
3)   Downtime “Elsewhere” Brings Fresh Perspectives:  ... Maybe it’s new and different foods, or hearing different languages, or just experiencing life at a different rhythm, but these new perspectives often inspire more flexible thinking and creative problem solving. Often times during my vacations, solutions emerge to issues I might have been tackling for months before my trip.
4)   And Back at the “Ranch”, the Team Rises to the Occasion: When I am away, or my employees take vacation, the absence creates opportunities for the “Left Behinds” to stretch and grow professionally, covering new functions and solving different problems.
5)   Vacationers Return Rested, Re-charged and Ready to Rock:  When I’ve given myself the gift of a real vacation, I return rejuvenated and re-energized and ready to dive in again.  The same goes for my team.  We are able to buckle down to thinking, creating and problem solving with much greater efficiency.
6)   And, Work is Fun (Again…): I know when I return from a vacation I am overflowing with good will and a positive outlook.  I’ve got my “spark” back.  And the good will and positivism is highly contagious.
I am a fully reformed vacationer with a zealot’s belief in the need for vacations – Vacations ARE good for business.  Happy Travels!

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