Let’s face it, as much as we all want to ‘do it all’ and to be our best (always) – running on empty benefits no one. Mental fatigue decreases more than just your motivation and can ultimately result in disastrous outcomes for you, the business you work in and those around you.
Though we may fear that stepping away will be our undoing, research suggests the opposite and encourages us to reap the rewards of greater work-life balance by taking breaks as needed.
Just what are these benefits, how can they ultimately aid your work/business and how do you best go about it all?
When you push yourself to work too many days in a row, eventually your brain will start to push back. Your thoughts will get cloudy, your creativity will diminish, and you’ll have a harder time dealing with stress and decisions.
If you don’t rest your brain in these times, the side effects will continue to multiply and ultimately, as demonstrated in this study, your brain will begin to opt for the easier choice instead of the smarter choice.
Luckily, there is a simple solution.
Listen to your needs.
Even a single day off can help to bring you back to a state of mental clarity.
When we start to feel burned out at work, even the simplest of tasks becomes a challenge. Our passion starts to dull and our ambition can be lost.
If you’ve ever felt refreshed after stepping away from your desk and taking a walk, you understand how a break can improve your productivity. Take off a few days or a week and you’ll come back feeling refreshed and ready to take on new challenges.
It’s hard to maintain a positive work-life balance in even the best of circumstances let alone when you are forever feeling ‘under the pump’. When you’re chronically overworked, you can start to lose your sense of self. Your hobbies and interests fall to the wayside as you focus all of your energy on your career.
Taking time away from work gives you a chance to rekindle your joy and remember what life was like before you became relentlessly busy. Sparking this passion for life at home quickly ripples into all aspects of your activities, allowing you to get more out of your entire day and not just after clock off.
No matter how much you love your job, doing the same thing day in and day out can wear on you. Taking time away gives you the chance to refocus your goals and look at things from a fresh perspective. You’ll be surprised how many great ideas come up when you step away from the monotony for a day or two.
“Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.” – Bill Moyers
Life can be a balancing game and while it’s important to focus on your career, you also need to work on your relationships.
If you’re constantly logging in long hours at the office or checking your phone and email all evening, the important people in your life will start feeling neglected.
Even a short vacation allows you to unplug from your job and spend quality time with your loved ones. This is a great opportunity to refocus on what is most important to you, those closest to you, and to even create goals together.
Tips for Effectively Taking Time Off Work
Although a two-week getaway to a remote beach in Fiji might be ideal, you don’t need a grand vacation to reap the benefits of taking a break.
If money is tight or your workload is just too high, you might have to get creative.
- Try coordinating your time-off requests with paid holidays to create a mini-vacation.
- Arrange to take time off during slow months (a good way to keep your boss happy while still giving you the downtime you need).
- Use the weekend or public holidays to your advantage.
- Communicate your needs. It’s okay to need to take a break, just don’t leave your coworkers in the lurch.
Remember, if you’re feeling super stressed out, don’t be afraid to use one of your sick days. Mental health is just as important as physical health.
Taking time off when you need it will keep you feeling balanced and make you a better employee in the long run.
If you need advice about stepping back or improving your work/life balance and professional needs – please reach out to our team! We’d love to discuss your options with you and connect you with exciting opportunities.