Executive Coaching Articles

Want to Live Longer? Take Your Vacation

Do you take advantage of all your vacation days? More than one-third of American workers don’t, according to a survey by the Families and Work Institute. And only 14 percent go away for more than two weeks at a time. Want to live longer? Take your vacation.

Well, here are some statistics that might chase you out of the office:

  • “Women who take the least amount of vacations are at a 50 percent higher risk for a heart attack. (Framington Heart Study, 1992)
  • “Infrequent male vacationers have a 20 percent higher risk of dying from any cause and nearly a 50 percent higher risk of dying from a attack. (Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine, 2000)

Unfortunately, even those who manage to escape, 92% say they do work-related communications outside of work, including on vacations. Nearly three-fourths say they stay “switched on” during weekends.

Your health isn’t the only thing at risk.

  • Your creativity and innovation go down
  • Poor quality work
  • Decline in productivity
  • Feel apathetic
  • Negative feelings toward the job
  • Leads to burnout

If you don’t take time off, you’ll get burned out. Burnout is caused by long hours over long periods, no vacation or breaks, high stress and job pressures. You need to be careful of pushing yourself beyond the limits of good health and good sense.

So, you need to schedule time off. This is so vitally important because it will help you disconnect and disengage, catch your breath, gain rest, recovery and relaxation. This is vital to preventing burnout.

Get away from the business. Yes, completely away. Absolutely no interruptions, no cell phone, computer, email. You want to be completely unplugged. Getting unplugged and disconnected will help you recharge your energy for work. You’ll be able to work at peak efficiency with a fresh mind if you take time off for yourself.

And you may live longer, too!

Are you a “workaholic”?

Dr. Bryan E. Robinson, author of Chained to the Desk: A Guidebook for Workaholics, their Partners and Children, calls it “the nation’s best dressed addiction.” Find out if you’re a victim of this obsessive-compulsive disorder by taking Dr. Robinson’s 25-question quiz.