Gimme a break

Nell says don't ask for a break, take one.

Nell says don’t ask for a break, take one.

This past weekend the family and I headed up to northern Virginia for some time away. It was an opportunity to be refreshed and to take a break from our normal routine. Taking vacations help us recharge the battery and get our mind and body reinvigorated.

Unfortunately, according to an unofficial poll at almost 50% don’t take time off on a yearly basis. conducted a survey that showed that Americans despite having the least vacation days (13) of leading economic countries on average have 3 unused vacation days a year. (Japan has 15 but only uses 8 of them. Take a break for real, guys.)  All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy and a boy that probably won’t have too many innovative or creative ideas.

In fact, taking a break is a necessity if you want to perform at your top level. Wellness Coach Elizabeth Scott says that taking time off will:

  1. Promote Creativity
  2. Stave Off Burnout
  3. Keep Us Healthy
  4. Promote Overall Well Being
  5. Strengthen Bonds
  6. Help With Your Job Performance
  7. Relieve Stress in Lasting Ways

Taking a break from work is not about spending loads of cash necessarily. There are cost effective ways to relax and unwind without jetting the family to Aspen for a ski trip. If you want to do that, go for it. Otherwise, there are things around your own town to see and do that will be less impacting on the bank account. Maybe you can even pick up a book and read. That is cheap.

Also, taking a break may even mean literally taking your break at work to clear your mind and refocus for the rest of the day. I know I have to occasionally step away from the computer to collect my thoughts. Strangely enough, staring at a monitor all day is not the most inspiring thing I’ve ever done. Don’t work through lunch. Eat some food. Think about something totally unrelated to work. Have conversations with people that do not have the words “bottom line,” “ROI,” or “synergy” in them. Speaking of synergy, can we take a break from this word?  Really, its totally played out. I hereby declare a new corporate word for “work together” to be fusiology.

When I began to write this post I saw a tweet from Carrie Wilkerson of Barefoot Exec that said, “How are you disconnecting and recharging yourself? You need to unplug to charge your batteries. Barefoot TV ==> //” She has a great video post on the exact thought I had.  Someone needs to hear it. Stopping working so hard and not getting the results you are looking for. Take a break and come back ready for anything.


About the Author


Mark is a marketer and sometimes writer. He's trying to get better at that sometimes thing.

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