Some people start planning their work holidays months in advance, while others can’t even begin to work out how they’ll have time for a break. This is even more problematic for freelancers, who are not usually paid for holidays and may not have any cover if they take days off.
However, taking regular breaks is really important for your health and personal life. In fact, we’d go as far as to say doing so could help to improve your work life and further your career.
Productivity. Evidence shows that people become less productive if they go for long periods without taking a break. It might seem counterintuitive to take a week off if you’re super busy at work, but you’ll return to the workplace refreshed.
Objectivity. While you’re in the work ‘zone’, it’s hard to fully switch off and think about other things. You may even be using outdated processes because you haven’t stopped to think about what changes need to be made. Taking a break will make you more objective about your work, and this will probably have a knock-on effect in your personal life as you realise that work isn’t the be-all-and-end-all.
Health. Most of us think we have super human powers when it comes to work. Stress? Burnout? Breakdown? No, those don’t apply to us. We’ve always just kept our heads down and cracked on. But no one is immune to these things, and eventually they’ll catch up with you. If all you do is work, you may also find that you’re not eating, sleeping or exercising properly, which will impact your short and long-term health, and make your work more of a struggle than it needs to be.
Pleasure. Before you know it, your kids will be grown up or your friends will have moved away. Taking regular breaks allows you to check in with the important people in your life. Get the barbecue going and invite some friends round, or take the whole family away for a beach holiday. You won’t be able to go back in time and enjoy these moments over again, so make the most of them now. Holidays are also a great time to work on relationships with partners. If you’re always at work, your marriage or partnership may be suffering, so time away can help to revive it and give you fresh perspective.
Indispensability. If you’re always at work, you’re not giving anyone an opportunity to miss you! The chances are, your colleagues don’t even realise how much you do because it just gets done and you’re never away for them to notice when it doesn’t. Taking a break might just make your colleagues and bosses sit up and take note of how valuable you are as a team member and an employee.
Banter. Holidays are great opportunities to bond with your colleagues as you share photos and anecdotes from your time away from the office. Nobody wants to work with someone who has no social life, so show them there’s more to you than work, but keep the photos to a minimum!
Spirituality. If you’re working nonstop, the chances are you’re not spending much time with God or other Christians. That can really start to take its toll after a while and you may be missing out on valuable insights God has for you. Take the time to reconnect with God and your church buddies while you’re off work.
You may think that staying chained to your desk is the key to climbing the career ladder, but being consistently good at your job while also having a rounded personal life is much better than working yourself into the ground for five years and having to take time off with stress.
If taking a holiday really isn’t an option in your current role, it may be time to look elsewhere for the sake of your health, your loved ones and your career.
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