When you consider the growing list of work that must be completed on the job, annual leave can often be far from a relaxing thought. However, with all work and no play, the capacity for innovative thinking and effective problem solving can rapidly take a dive. You might think that working late and not taking time off means you will get more work done, but research has actually found that when working longer hours, employees aren’t as creative and find it hard to maintain the same intensity level in their work. So, by working yourself too hard, it could actually be detrimental to the quality of your work
I am such a strong advocate for taking annual leave, leaving your work routine and getting away from it all. And it doesn't just apply to the paid workforce, volunteers need a break too. If you've been avoiding taking leave, let me convince you to think again and … take a break.
Eight hours-plus work a day for 40 years of your life is going to have just one result and it’s not good. Periodically we humans need a rest. So take your time to rest and recharge your batteries. When you are in the work mind your brain is focused on your ‘to do list’ and rarely do you actually have time to be creative. When you are on leave you actually do get the time to think, often from a new perspective. It is important to understand that time away from your work can indeed be beneficial for you personally and professionally.
Despite some people thinking those who work instead of taking leave are the most dedicated it’s not actually true. They are at risk of stagnation which affects our enthusiasm and productivity. And believe it or not, any business or group will actually carry on without you.
Convinced? I hope so. If not, there is one more piece of advice that a wise person gave to me many years ago … taking leave gives everyone else a break from you! No matter how great your working relationships are with your peers, it is always good to give them some space when you are not around. They will be thankful and will wholeheartedly embrace your return.
So, forget the old work ethic that longer hours mean dedication and higher productivity. There is so much to do and see in the world, which just isn’t going to happen from the confines of your work or volunteer space. Take a break and experience new things. I can guarantee you won’t regret it.