5 reasons why taking a vacation makes you a better leader

Taking off for a few days can be challenging, but it will actually make you more productive in the long run. By Satyaki Sarkar

A hectic, stressful work life is often a given if you’re in a leadership position. When the routine of work and the worries that come with it become too much to take, we all yearn for a break. But besides providing some much needed R&R, vacations also are essential if you want to perform your best and maintain your productivity at work. Here are five reasons why all good leaders make it a point to take a holiday regularly.

1. Keeps you in good mental and physical health
This one’s a no-brainer. A vacation, even for a few days, provides a much-needed break from stress, a hectic office life, and constant troubleshooting. It a quick recharge that puts you on the path to better mental and physical health. Working at breakneck speed non-stop affects your immune system, eventually even leading to heart problems. Numerous studies have found that the risk of a heart attack is 30 percent higher in men who don’t take vacations, while for women, it is an alarming 50 per cent. Periodic vacations not only help alleviate stress but can also prevent depression. Thus, a great leader knows that in order to continuously be at his/her physical and mental best, regular vacations aren’t a luxury but a necessity!

2. It promotes creativity
Vacations, especially ones where you go on a trip, have been found to be incredibly helpful in improving creativity, and even just the thought of travelling can give a considerable boost to your creative edge. The reason behind this is that creativity always flourishes when we have a fresh, tension-free mind. Plus, some of the best ideas and inspiration come to us when we leave our comfort zone and open ourselves to new places, people and opportunities. So pencil in that vacation to give your brain a break, clear your mind and flex your creative muscles.

3. It improves efficiency
A vacation is incredibly rejuvenating and refreshing, and for most people, being able to de-stress by taking an exhilarating trip, is the perfect way to energise and recharge themselves. It
Research has supported the benefits of a vacation for ages, but it’s not just leaders, but even the employees who come back with renewed vigour after a small trip. So if you or your team have been feeling unproductive and inefficient lately, rather than increasing the work hours or taking punitive measures, a break might just be what you, and everyone else, needs.

4. Improves employees’ capabilities
When a leader takes a break, his/her responsibilities and functions are delegated to others. While this might unnerve some, a good leader knows that this is an excellent opportunity to show faith and trust in his/her employees’ capabilities, helping build employee morale and confidence. This delegation of meaningful, important work is also a great way to help employees learn, improve and evolve within the organisation. It helps them sharpen their skillsets and sets them up for future leadership roles.

5. Gives you time to look at the big picture
Now we know thinking about work while on holiday is a big no-no, but the reality is that work is a big part of our lives and our minds will stray there. The good thing is that rather than thinking about day-to-day issues and how to put our fires, you’ll actually be free to look at your work and role from a distance. It gives you the opportunity to review and reflect on the hurdles faced, current situations, and the road ahead. A holiday gives you stress-free time to think about the big picture, which you need to do as a leader, but unfortunately seldom have the time for.

Photograph: Creativeart/ 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Work Buzz


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