Life revolves around two entities – office and home. Either we are racing with targets and deadlines or dealing with household chores. The result is we feel stressed out and irritable. An occasional weekend getaway is what we all need to feel refreshed. It helps to improve productivity at work and has a great impact on our employee-rating during the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) evaluation.
Improve productivity at work – first step is to reduce stress
Are you still hesitating? Then here are some advantages in taking a short break:
No leave required
If you take leave of absence for a vacation, once you are back you are racing with deadlines. While holidaying half your mind is on the work that will be waiting for you when you get back and you can’t relax to the fullest extent. But a weekend trip doesn’t mess up your weekday schedule so there’s no worry.
The stress involved in planning and booking a long vacation can sometimes diminish the pleasure of the trip. For a weekend break you can make a spot decision and go somewhere nearby.
If you are going to some place nearby you don’t need to spend on expensive air fares, resorts and taxicabs. Just drive down to the nearest tourist attraction and stay there at one-tenth the cost!
Opportunity for social interaction
Call up a friend or neighbor and plan a break for the two families together. A shared holiday doubles the pleasure. It helps in bonding with others and hones your organizational skills.
You might even learn some interesting facts about the locals. For example, when I was driving down to Mahableshwar (India) which is two hours drive from my city, I saw a vendor on the roadside selling beautifully crafted pots. These were not made in some fancy factory but are hand crafted by untrained tribal folk from nearby villages.
Your weekend break and your experiences will be the hot topic of conversation in the office. Others will look to you for first-hand feedback on an activity, holiday resort or tourist attraction.
How do short breaks improve productivity at work?
Do you need some more convincing? Weekend breaks are purposeful ways to distract your mind and will always have a positive effect on your Balanced Scorecard. For example:
After a break you are able to maintain a better work-home balance. You are now able to work to your highest potential, thus increasing your productivity. Working without a break clutters the mind, whereas a short break will leave your mind feeling refreshed and able to cope with pressure in a more efficient manner.
Better creative skills
Creativity is the first casualty of overwork. Your mind is literally tired of thinking anything new! When you go away at the weekend you are in a new environment. The break refreshes your mind and releases your creative skills.
Before a break, for every task you probably tried to find the easiest solution. After a weekend away you are able to deal with bigger challenges and realize your full potential.
How much planning will a weekend getaway need?
Short breaks do not need much planning. Start by going out in your own town. Go for a movie or a music concert one evening. Take the kids to the local zoo on Sunday. This will help you unwind and strengthen relationships.
Next stage, read a few blogs on weekend getaways. Then pick the destination that’s not more than 4-6 hours drivable distance. I looked for places around Pune, India and found more than 10. I have visited 4 so far.
Now you are probably hooked to the idea of refreshing breaks! So venture a little further and look for a specific kind of break, for example a nearby beach or a hill for trekking. Depending on the terrain you can pick something that really excites you.
Another idea that is slowly gaining popularity is “stay-cation”. Go to some town nearby. Stay at a hotel there for the weekend and visit the local sights. Try out all the local cuisine and generally chill out. A couple I know never misses the 3-day Sunburn Festival in Goa, India held in December each year for. It is an electronic music festival and performers from all parts of the globe participate in the festival. Besides the fest they enjoy every aspect of Goa over five days.
When things are getting too stressful, a weekend getaway is what you need. Just go away for a weekend and refresh your body, mind and soul. Occasional breaks will improve productivity at work and hone your creative skills. This will ultimately lead towards a better Balanced Scorecard during employee evaluation.