5 Vacation “Lessons” That Can Make You More Productive

by Tim English - VP Superior Business Solutions on July 30, 2019

5 Vacation “Lessons” That Can Make You More Productive

Make Those Vacation Benefits Last

We’ve all heard it. Vacations refresh and energize us to be more productive. And, unfortunately, Americans often leave vacation days “on the table” because they are too stressed to risk the time away. There’s plenty of research to support the importance of taking time off. Simply put, in countries that mandate more vacation time for workers, those workers are more productive.

On the other hand, how long does that “recharge” last once you’re back in the office? There is plenty of research there, too. And the 2018 Work and Well-Being Survey shows some results that may be a bit demoralizing. Two-thirds of workers surveyed say that those positive feelings from a vacation are gone (and the stress is back) in a few days, at the most.

In looking at this interesting twist, it occurred to me that maybe if we learned to approach our jobs the way we approach vacations, things might be different.  I don’t mean pitching a tent in the conference room or wearing “Mickey” ears to a client meeting. But if we just looked at our work lives through a vacation “lens” we might just be more relaxed, more satisfied, and get more done.

What Time Away Can Teach Us About Productivity

Naturally, our mindset is different during vacations. We get to do interesting things, live different lives and experience what we don’t get to see during the rest of the year. But it seems to me that some of those positive, proactive feelings and habits that pop up at vacation time could come in just as handy back at the office. Let’s look at a few.

  1. Planning

Vacation planning is not only fun but pretty darned necessary to ensure a successful experience. You have to figure out the travel, the accommodations, the timing and lots of other details. You don’t want to waste a minute, so you’ll get the most out of the time you have.

It may not seem like it, but time at the office is precious, too. When vacation’s over, step back through those doors with the same enthusiasm to make the most of your time. Look at what’s coming up and decide which projects to tackle and which ones you need help with. If you think of each week as if it were a “vacation” week and plan accordingly, you’ll pack it full and be glad you did. And don’t forget to plan some fun like a lunch with that new employee or a stop at the donut shop on the way into work to share some sweets.

  1. Prioritizing

On vacation, this can mean many different things. Fishing vs. swimming, or which course to play. For others, it’s deciding on the “must-visit” restaurants and shops. The “list” is important, so you don’t go home disappointed.

The parallel is obvious here. Once you’re back in the office, use that same power of discrimination to figure out which projects need your attention, which to delegate, and which can just wait for a better time.  Projects (and client expectations) have end dates just like vacations do. And you don’t want any disappointments there, either.

  1. Exploring

When you’re on vacation, you tend to explore in several ways. Often, you look for sights you’ve never seen before or check out new attractions or remote natural areas and treasures. Or maybe you try new things, like para-sailing or food you’ve never tried before.

Don’t lose that creative spirit when you return to work. The press of business and responsibilities that “waited for you” will be strong. But with today’s increased emphasis on innovation and new ways of thinking, there’s no more valuable talent than imagination. Put your business brain on the “zip line” for a certain period every day.

  1. Pitching In

Families bond during vacations, with a definite “we’re all in this together” attitude. The people you know and love are there with you, in a place you probably don’t know any others. Vacations are also the time when family members work together. Gathering wood for the campfire, running ahead to save a place, cleaning up, and loading the car.

Imagine harnessing a little of that feeling with your coworkers. You’re all in it together at your company, too, and are working for a common goal.  Take the “vacation” approach and there’s no job too small for you to help with when needed. And you’re happy to do your part (and more) to help the group achieve its objectives.

  1. Anticipation

This might be my favorite one. I’ve heard many people say that the best part of vacation is looking forward to it. (Not to say the vacation itself wasn’t great, just that you’re a bit happier person when that vacation is getting closer.) You think of a favorite vacation spot, or the fun you’re going to have.

It might sound odd, but doesn’t your job deserve a little of that love? That vacation week is terrific, but wasn’t it your job that made that possible? I’m not saying you should be glad when vacation is over. But it’s appropriate to look forward, too, to returning the place you invested a lot of time and hard work, and where they appreciate you. Think of how different that vacation would have felt if you didn’t have your job and company to return to afterward!

One Important Point to Stress

I know. Your workplace isn’t ever going to feel like the beach, the lake, or an exciting city or cultural attraction. But give it a fair shake. You might find that, with the right attitude, it could have more in common than you thought with your restful vacation paradise.

That, in turn, could make you more efficient and productive. And it could help you lower the stress you feel, and prolong those good vacation “vibes” for months.  Oh, and when (not if)  those workday stresses start creeping into the picture again, check out these wise quotes about dealing with stress from others who’ve had some pretty interesting things to say on the subject.

The Very Best Way to Relax

This may not have a lot to do with vacations, but it will put your mind at ease more than any poolside lounge. What I’m talking about is, well, talking to us.

Superior has been making businesses more efficient for nearly 100 years. We offer you the most advanced technologies and excellent customer support on printing projects and promotional items needed for your business. You relax and get things off your list. Then you can count on superior results because you’ve entrusted them to partner with unmatched experience.

Our customers have given us such excellent reviews that we’ve won three consecutive Best of Print and Digital awards. And our ISO certification holds us to the highest standards in focusing on customers’ needs and refining our processes to meet them.

Contact Superior today. (Okay, if you’re on vacation now, you can wait until you get back.) A vacation might pick up your spirits for a week or two. But with our help, you just might feel that refreshed and energized all year long.

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