At the end of this month, we'll hit the summer solstice. That's the longest day of the year, and it also marks the halfway point for the summer season. That's right: In a few weeks, the summer will be halfway over.
Disconnecting is extremely difficult for the entrepreneur, but it's also extremely important. I've recently been traveling across the world and feel energized and better than I've felt in a long time.
Have you scheduled your summer vacation yet? Here are five reasons that could compel you to do so.
1. Beat compassion fatigue.
Most health-care workers are familiar with the idea of compassion fatigue. In essence, this term describes a point at which a provider becomes so tired and so fatigued that it's impossible to provide compassionate care to someone else. And it's a big problem in the health care industry as a whole. In a study of nurses, for example, researchers found that close to one-fifth had mental health issues that developed into workload challenges. I'd bet that doctors and surgeons have similar stress figures.
But here's the thing.
Anyone who works in the service industry could get compassion fatigue. And at its core, we're all in the service industry. We all have products and services that are designed to help someone else deal with a very real problem. If we're dealing with compassion fatigue, we can't do that work.
Vacations work because they're a form of self-care. You can walk away from your job and your worries for a short period of time, and remember what you're doing business for. That helps you to assist your clients in an authentic and present way.
2. Come up with great ideas.
Part of running a successful business involves coming up with ideas that are just a little bit better than the ideas your competitors might have. Many of those awesome ideas come, believe it or not, when you're asleep.
Consider this: The kernel of the idea for Paul McCartney's huge hit "Yesterday" came when he was sleeping. (Watch him sing those original lyrics on Jimmy Fallon if you need a chuckle.)
When you're on vacation, you're away from your desk and away from your coworkers. Your brain can slow down and power down, and that often means you can get the sleep you've been missing.
If you keep a notebook by your bed, you could pick up all of those ideas and turn them in to gold for your business in no time at all.
3. Do better on the job.
Vacations are often associated with slacking and laziness. But in reality, taking a vacation tends to help you do better while on the job. Here's proof: A study from Ernst & Young found that with every 10 additional hours of vacation employees took, bosses gave them better performance ratings.
If you're running the business, you might not need the approval ratings of a boss. But you might need approval ratings of the board of the directors. If you get high scores from that group, you might keep the job you have. And you might even get a raise out of the deal.
4. Spin a vacation into a networking opportunity.
Chances are, you won't be entirely alone while you're on vacation. You might have the opportunity to touch base with local friends or local businesses on a staycation, or if you travel, you could meet all sorts of people on airplanes, in restaurants or in hotel lobbies.
Every single person you meet could provide you with a unique business opportunity, if you take the time to connect and have a conversation. And that's really easy to do when you're on vacation and away from deadlines, ringing phones and meetings. The people you meet while you're relaxed could become new and valuable clients in no time at all.
5. Be a role model for your employees.
A study from Skift suggests that about half of all Americans don't take any vacations at all. And that means about half of us aren't getting the benefits I've mentioned so far. You could be the person that sparks a change.
If you're in charge of your company, a great number of people look up to you and rely on you for inspiration. When you take a vacation, you're demonstrating the value of taking time away. You could spark your employees to do the same, and that could help to transform your entire company.
Have I prompted to you take a vacation? I hope so! Let me know in the comments!