How many times have you heard someone say that a vacation, or a day off, went by much too quickly… and that they wish they could do it over again? How many times have you been that person?
You certainly are not alone if you feel like there are never enough days to get away from the office and enjoy the rest of life. But if you find that the time you take away is not as refreshing as it could or should be, then the problem might be that you are not getting away from work often enough.
In other words, the key to getting more out of your next vacation or day off might be to take more of both.
Does that advice sound paradoxical to good time management skills? At first glance it could, but the reality is that when you do not take enough time off, you put too much pressure into the rare moments you do have to yourself. For example, you might try to make a long weekend into the “perfect vacation,” or attempt to cram too many activities into a Tuesday afternoon to finish all of them, much less enjoy them. The result can actually leave you feeling more frustrated during and after the time you set aside for relaxation.
When you take more breaks, on the other hand, you can take things at a slower pace, mentally, and prevent yourself from expecting too much from a day or two away from the office. Because you know you will get another break soon, you don’t have to try so hard to make the most of it – enjoying yourself just happens naturally.
It has been well-documented that Americans use a fraction of the vacation and personal time that most other workers around the world do. There is no problem with all of us wanting to get a lot accomplished, but if we want to make the most of the down time we do have, we need to remember to take it often enough. Then watch your productivity climb on your return.