Why taking a leave is actually good for you (and how not to lose momentum while you’re doing it)

It’s good for any of us to take time away from work. Whether it’s a vacation or a leave, it ultimately yields many positive outcomes. But a lot of us truly have a hard time getting away. In 2019, LinkedIn conducted a survey that showed that 59% of us took time off and still checked in with a boss or co-workers at least once a day. Nearly 23% said that they checked in with work three times a day. (As someone who checks in with work way more than that, I am surprised it’s that low, honestly). But if you’re in a sales function, particularly if you’re making commission, it can be really hard to free yourself from the desk. 

It’s important to do that, though. 

First of all, vacation is relaxing. It reduces your stress levels and improves your immune function, and can even improve antiviral activity. (These stats come from a study performed at the University of California, San Francisco.) We all know what it feels like on vacation: day 1, you’re trying to get out of your bad habits of checking email and texts. By the time you’re done, you’re an old pro who forgets how to log into your computer, and has to remind yourself that sending emails after two pina coladas isn’t a good idea. It’s a good feeling, but it’s hard to get to a point where you aren’t feeling guilt about the fact that you’re working, and they’re not. 

Second, according to consulting firm Korn Ferry, 64 percent of people are refreshed and excited to get back to their job after vacation. (Funny, that’s not my usual emotion.) Sometimes it’s just good to see your co-workers and friends again and have contact with them, and have conversations about your trip instead of about work. Plus, there’s the benefit of feeling as if you have achieved something. You may have passively thought about work challenges and come up with solutions to fix them. Which brings us to the next point… 

Doing nothing actually helps you become more productive and creative. We’ve all had great ideas in the shower… in fact, John Mellencamp wrote “Hurts So Good” when he was in the shower. That won him a Grammy. Writer’s block isn’t fixed by sitting down in front of your laptop and someone yelling “write” at you. It’s fixed by taking a walk around the block with the dog, going on a hike, playing catch with your kids. Interestingly enough, backpackers scored 50% better on a creativity test after hiking in nature for four days without devices. 

We’re all taught to sit down and work, then work some more. It’s really challenging to put it down when your task list never seems to get shorter. But taking a break from work really gives you a chance to put things into perspective, figure out some untapped verticals (how’s that for business-speak), and passively develop new practices to fix your old ones. Those are all critical skills for business success. Banging your head against a wall and making endless outreach to prospects never gives you a chance to assess what is working and what is not in a fair manner.

If you’re a little petrified about leaving the office and having your task list just sit there while you’re gone, Maverick can help. Maverick completely eliminates prospect/customer engagement task management by allowing you to schedule an entire communication cycle with relevant and personalized content in every touch. (You’ll have to check email to reply, but let’s face it, you were gonna do that anyway) For more, click here.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash