You Don't Need a Vacation
July 14, 2016

You Don't Need a Vacation

by Brian de Haaff

Summer is in full swing. Time to pack up the car and head out for a holiday. Time to get outside, enjoy the sunshine, and kick back — right?

We all need a little rest and relaxation once in awhile. And, more importantly, taking a break is a good thing. Some studies show that increased vacation time can actually boost your workplace productivity.

In fact, I worked on this very post in Scotland, where I am enjoying a holiday break with my family. I am fortunate to be able to take time off and keep working — and always feel renewed and energized when I return.

But many people desperately pine for a vacation all year long, hoping to finally escape the stress of work — if only for a week or two. They just want to turn off. 

And if you find yourself really digging in your heels when it is time to pack up and go back home — or if you find it even harder to get back into the swing of things once you return to work — something is off.

If this scenario seems familiar, you probably do not need another vacation. You need a new job — one that will make you happy. 

It is wise to enjoy a change of scenery and time off. I find it useful to experience new places and people, and even to feel a bit unsettled at times. It freshens my perspective and new ideas emerge.

But work should not be something that you want to escape from permanently. So, before you start planning yet another getaway, consider if your job is helping you to:

Get busy Many workplace frustrations stem from boredom — because you are not being challenged or do not feel that your work is meaningful. Work should be a motivator. Ask yourself if your current job is challenging you to stretch and grow. And if not, consider how you can change your work situation for the better.

Be fully present Contrary to popular belief, you cannot separate your work and personal life into two tidy halves that you carefully balance. I believe that work is life. It should feed you, not deplete you. The right job will enable you to finish each day with a “good-tired” feeling — knowing that you worked to your potential — so that you can enjoy the people and the activities that you love.

Pursue sustainable happiness Does your relaxation evaporate as soon as you pull in your driveway? That is because your vacations are only providing a temporary fix for the real problem: your job. Living from vacation to vacation is not sustainable. Instead of seeking happiness from a getaway, you need — and deserve — a job that will fulfill you throughout the entire year.

Some people spend their whole lives working from one vacation to the next. And their cure for the post-vacation blues is to simply start planning the next one.

But once you find a position that makes you happy, you will not desperately need to take that vacation. And then your holiday will be what it should be — a nice, restorative rest … not an escape from your job.

Have you found a job that makes you happy? Share your stories in the comments below.

Brian de Haaff

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability and The Startup Adventure newsletter. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the journey of pursuing a meaningful life.

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