- You can work whenever you like, day or night.
- You can work from any location, as long as there is an internet connection.
- You can structure your day to suit your lifestyle--you can break your work periods up during the day to fit your schedule.
- You can work from the comfort of your own home.
These are the lifestyle benefits that draw many people to work virtually. The result is less time spend commuting in traffic, less stress, a more relaxed daily life (no need to put on a power suit or even get out of your pajamas), and more freedom to organize your days according to what's important to you.
As attractive and flexible as this lifestyle is, it can create special challenges in setting boundaries between work time and down time.
And because of the extremely flexible schedule, many web workers feel like they can get by with just taking an afternoon off, or a day off here and there.
I've been working virtually for about 7 years now, and one thing I've noticed is that as nice as an afternoon or day off is, it doesn't have the same effect as taking a week away from work and going on a real vacation.
By "real vacation", I mean taking several days (perhaps a week or two) where you take a break from your regular daily life to rest and rejeuvenate away from all ties to work.
Benefits Of Taking Regular Vacations:
I was reading this article about stress and vacations and discovered that vacations have more benefits than just stress relief and having fun. Here are a few others:
1 - Vacations increase creativity.
Do you work in a creative field? Perhaps you're a writer, an inventor, an artist, a musician--many people who work virtually are in the creative fields.
When you do something out of the ordinary--go to a beautiful location, see sights that calm you, that enchant you, that take your breath away--it reminds you that there are so many possibilities outside of your little world.
Your mind opens up, your spirit calms down, and the world become inspiring again.
2 - Vacations help keep you healthy.
It can be tempting to keep your nose to the grindstone because you're afraid to fall behind with work. Consider this:
- Taking a vacation can help you sleep better, even up to 5 weeks after the vacation is over.
- A relaxing vacation reduces stress. Stress is a main contributor to all sorts of health issues.
- Vacations can help you reconnect and have fun with family and friends, which has a positive impact on your overall health.
3 - Vacations improve your work quality.
- The stress relief that a vacation provides helps you be more productive and creative in your work.
- Taking a vacation can radically diminish the likelihood of burnout.
- Vacations can lend to innovative, cutting edge thinking. Your business benefits from the increased creativity that vacations promote.
Here's a challenge for you:
Plan an annual vacation. If you haven't taken a vacation this year, then plan one now.
Then, at the beginning of next year, plan at least one vacation for that year. It could be months away, but the point is to get it on your schedule. Mark that time off of your calendar and look forward to it!
For many people this is the hard part--planning your own vacations is something that is easy to put off, and before you know it the year has flown by and you haven't had any significant time off. Consider it an investment in your business. Plan and take that vacation!
Once you get the vacation on the books, then you'll be amazed at how just having an upcoming vacation planned impacts your attitude at work and your overall perspective. It's refreshing to have something special to look forward too!
Questions for you:
- Do you take vacations?
- If so, how often?
- If not, why not? What do you need to do to be able to get in the position of taking time off?