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Reluctant Workaholic: The Importance of Taking Vacation

You’re a small business owner. When you get to the office, you don’t see just another business; you see your baby. And much like rearing a child, managing and growing a small business takes an astronomical amount of work.

The good news is that you love doing the work. The bad news is that obsessing over the growth of your business may come at a steep cost: the possibility that you’ll run yourself into the ground.

There are many useful ways to manage stress and anxiety but not all of them address the heart of the problem: You haven’t let up off of the gas pedal!

We don’t always stop to remember that a balanced work-to-life ratio greatly improves our relationships and productivity, as well as our physical and mental health.

So do yourself a favor. Take a vacation.

Let’s take a look at the importance of taking vacations:

Physical and Mental Health

Do something good for your heart. The Framingham Heart Study, cited by HealthNet as “the largest and longest-running study of cardiovascular disease,” found that men who did not take vacation for several years were 30 percent more likely to have heart attacks compared to men who did. The study also discovered that women who took a vacation only once every six years or less were about eight times more likely to develop heart related health issues.

Moreover, a study conducted by the Marshfield Clinic found that women who vacationed less often than once every two years were at a higher risk of suffering from depression and increased stress than women who took vacations at least twice annually were.

Productivity and Liability

Using up accrued vacation days has also drastically impacted worker productivity. A study done by Oxford Economics for Project: Time Off found that workers who use their vacation time perceive themselves to be “more productive, focused, and dedicated employees.”

Employees also report “coming back to work feeling renewed and refreshed, and ready to focus on work.” In addition to feeling more focused after returning from vacation, the survey also found a spike in worker productivity just before an employee took a leave.

Quality of Relationships

Although many people acknowledge that the quality of their lives is largely dependent upon the quality of their relationships, they tend to stray from taking advantage of vacation time needed to improve those relationships. So, block time in your busy schedule to further develop personal relationships.

Project: Time Off reports that 43 percent of American workers are dedicating less than 20 hours a week to family time, and only 19 percent of employees are spending more than 40 hours a week with their family. The organization’s study also reports that while 96 percent of employees believe that working infringes on family time, 40 percent still do not use all of their vacation time.

Take a Walk!

As an entrepreneur, your business may need more attention than many things in your universe do. But if you fail to live a healthy, balanced life you will find it exponentially more difficult to care for your business—and your own wellbeing—properly.

So to all you workaholics: Sit at home with your dog, play with your children, or go to ComicCon. It doesn’t matter what kind of vacation you take! You just need to take it!

And if you’re going to be a workaholic, be a reluctant one at best.

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