Why we must all plan a holiday

Border restrictions and international travel bans may have dampened our wanderlust a little, but a holiday is the one thing you—and your employees—should not miss in 2020!

Our working ‘normal’ is out of whack, and while we’d really just like to get ourselves back in some sort of flow and feel productive again, a reset is more important than ever.

In an article recently written for the Harvard Business Review, executive coach Rebecca Zucker cites several of the university’s studies which indicate performance actually nose-dives when we work for extended periods without a break.

And we have all learned that working from home does not constitute a break.

She says: “The benefits of taking a vacation are clear: It results in improved productivity, lower stress and better overall mental health. It also spurs greater creativity — for example, Lin-Manuel Miranda created the musical, Hamilton, while on vacation.

She goes on to explain studies on elite athletes show rest is what enables them to perform at peak levels, and the same is also true for the rest us.

“Taking a break allows us to come back feeling refreshed and recharged, with renewed focus. Holidays may even help your personal bottom line, with further Harvard studies showing those who take more than 10 days of leave are 30% more likely to receive a raise, and will have greater job satisfaction.”

Zucker also gives five tips for planning an ideal holiday if you’re feeling a bit uninspired due to recent events.

1. Get a change of scenery

If you’re urban, go coastal. If you’re regional, engage in something culturally diverse in the city.

2. Plan well

Look for booking sites that provide a high degree of flexibility and local hidden gems will be a hit.

3. Identify the break you need

Do you feel like you need true RnR right now? Or are you ready to stretch your legs and get active? Tune into your body’s greater needs and nurture yourself appropriately.

4. Spend time outdoors

Beaches, rainforests, nature trails, mountains, wine regions… there has never been a time to get back into nature and breathe and connect and Australia is the lucky country in this respect.

5. Unplug properly

No, really. Turn off those emails. Delegate tasks, don’t fear ‘email dread’ on return and know that if you are really needed someone can call you.

6. Create memories

Consciously be in the moment and think about what that moment will feel like when you look back in years to come. That is what life is about.

Of course, for those of us still in lockdown it can be even more difficult to get that feeling of having a break, but at a bare minimum, spending some time outside daily, getting fresh air in green spaces, can really help recharge your batteries.