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A good vacation: disconnecting to increase productivity and creativity.

Updated: Aug 23, 2023



It's already summer, and you're probably wondering what to do: whether to take a vacation or not. For some entrepreneurs, especially when they are just starting out, vacations may seem more like an inconvenience than an opportunity. Take a moment to think about it: Are you one of those who believe that vacations are a waste of time? Or do you feel guilty about taking a few days off from work? Are you unable to completely disconnect and still keep an eye on emails, phone calls, or social media?


If that's the case, perhaps you should reconsider how you view vacations. Far from being a luxury or a whim, vacations are a necessity and a benefit to your health, well-being, and business.


Vacations allow you to rest, relax, recharge your energy, enjoy time with your family, friends, and hobbies, and explore new places, cultures, and people. But, in addition, vacations enable you to increase your productivity and creativity when you return to work. And if you're still sceptical, keep reading... You need it!


How do vacations increase your productivity?


As always, let's start from the beginning. What is productivity?


Productivity is the ability to perform a task or work in the shortest time possible and, of course, with the highest possible quality. It doesn't come out of nowhere, nor is it achieved solely through inspiration, and you don't have to be naturally productive to become productive. Instead, it is subject to several factors that influence us. Your productivity is directly proportional to your level of motivation, organization, concentration, and efficiency.


However, productivity is not linear or constant. It's not about working more hours than others or harder than anyone else; it's about working smarter. And, to work smarter, sometimes you need to stop and disconnect.


Vacations help increase your productivity in several ways:


They reduce stress. Stress is one of the main enemies of productivity, as it affects your physical and mental health, mood, and, consequently, your performance. Vacations allow you to release the stress that has accumulated for months and regain emotional balance.


They improve sleep. Who hasn't suffered from insomnia due to overwhelming worries? And how did you feel the next day? Were you productive? Most likely, not. Sleep is essential for productivity as it influences your memory, attention, concentration, and problem-solving abilities. Vacations allow you to sleep better and more hours, improving your cognitive functioning.


They increase energy. Cars need gasoline or diesel to move, planes use Jet A1, your microwave requires electricity to function, and your TV remote needs batteries. Nothing in this world can function without energy—of any kind—and, of course, neither can you. Energy is the fuel of productivity. Vacations allow you to recharge and renew vitality and endurance, thus maintaining the pace and intensity of your work in the long run.


They reinforce motivation. Motivation is the engine of productivity as it drives you to take action and pursue your goals. Even the most motivated person in the world will eventually have a somewhat pessimistic outlook due to fatigue. Vacations allow you to reconnect with your values, purposes, and passions, improving your commitment and enthusiasm.


How do vacations increase your creativity?


Before insisting on the numerous benefits of a good vacation, let's try to define creativity.


Creativity is the ability to create, to generate ideas. But all entrepreneurs know that not just any idea will do; our ideas should be, whenever possible, original, novel, and useful for problem-solving.


Just like productivity, creativity depends on several factors, such as imagination, curiosity, inspiration, or innovation. And, in the same way, it is not fixed or unlimited. It's not about forcing or pressuring your brain to any extreme to make it - excuse the expression - give birth to an idea, but rather stimulating and nourishing it. And for that, sometimes, you need to stop, and seek a change of scenery and perspective.


A good vacation helps increase your creativity in several ways:


They promote fun. Fun is one of the allies of creativity as it fosters divergent thinking, free association, and humour. Vacations allow you to have fun and enjoy the present moment, which improves your fluency and mental flexibility.


They stimulate curiosity. Probably the best ally of creativity. Think of children, for example, they are great curious beings and incredibly creative too. Curiosity fosters learning, exploration, and discovery. Vacations allow you to explore new places, cultures, and people, which improves your openness to different realities and your sensitivity.


They awaken inspiration. Inspiration is another ally of creativity as it facilitates the emergence of original and unexpected ideas. Vacations allow you to connect with nature, art, or emotions, which improves your intuition and expression.


They enhance innovation. Innovation involves the practical and successful application of generated ideas. Vacations allow you to step out of your comfort zone, face new challenges, and experiment with new solutions, which improves your adaptability and transformative capacity.



What types of vacations are most effective for enhancing productivity and creativity?


If you're considering taking a week to stay at home and catch up on lost sleep, forget it, those are not the vacations you need.


I understand that we all need to review our budget before making a decision, but whether you go to the mountains, the beach, visit another city, or travel abroad, try to have vacations that allow you to completely disconnect from your work. Only then will you have a good vacation, one that enhances productivity and creativity. No checking emails, no using the time to work on any work-related project, and no painting the house or remodelling the kitchen. Relax and enjoy activities you love.


In conclusion...


Vacations are much more than just a break. They are an opportunity to improve your health, well-being, and business. A golden opportunity to increase your productivity and creativity when you return to work.


So, don't overthink it and take a good vacation. Don't feel guilty or obsess over work. Enjoy your free time, disconnect from everything, and regain enthusiasm and energy. You'll see how when you return, you feel more productive and creative than ever before. Are you up for trying it?

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