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The Bold Faced Blog™

July 15, 2013

Step Away from the Office!

Posted 4 years 72 days ago by Sheila Ellian Lewis

It seems like there's never a good time to take a vacation,especially for consultants who, unlike full timers, don’t see a pay check when they take time out.  But there are good reasons why consultants should bite the bullet and book that break.

Health Benefits

As a consultant, you don’t have a team around you to pick up the slack if you get sick. Taking care of your health is a business issue as well as a personal one and there is plenty of evidence out there that taking proper breaks from work improve your ability to reduce stress, fight off illnesses and allow your body to rest and repair weary muscles. It seems there is an additional benefit for women. According to a 2005 study conducted by Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin, and published in theWisconsin Medical Journal, women who vacationed at least twice a year were less likely to suffer from depression and increased stress than women who put off those vacations.

Creativity Benefits

We’ve all experienced that moment in the shower when the perfect solutionto the issue that’s been bugging us just pops up fully formed. Taking a break allows your subconscious to get to work without you having to try so hard

Vacations are also a time to explore new places, and activities, read more widely and talk to different people. All of this newness creates distance from day to day concerns and allows you to replenish your creative juices. In fact, many consultants try to take a mini-break each day to learn something new or to do something creative that doesn’t relate to their work to get the same effect.

Productivity Benefits

It’s not just about you. In an article in the New York Times, Tony Schwartz, highlights a study from Ernst &Young. They found that for each additional 10 hours of vacation employees took,their year-end performance ratings from supervisors (on a scale of one to five) improved by 8 percent. In other words, people who took vacations were seen to be measurably more productive and effective than colleagues who slogged through without a break.

Kristi Hedges in Forbes writes, “Continuous work can actually cause people to feel blocked and unable to find solutions or perform their jobs well.”  

As a consultant, don’t you owe it to your clients to be the best you can be? Exactly. Stop feeling guilty or waiting for the perfect time – start booking that vacation now. Your clients will thank you for it!

And now I’m off for a couple of weeks myself. Let me know how you’re spending your vacation.

Tags: consultants vacations

Categories: categoryConsulting

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