I always enjoy reading the messages on the newsletter of Zaufyshan Haseeb Intekworld and as Summer approaches this seems quite approriate. This is what he has written. Do you need a holiday?

"Summer is in full swing and I see the colleagues around me planning their vacations. I can sense their excitement at the prospect while I sit pouring over my papers, thinking, how am I ever going to finish all these pending projects. In this scenario, vacations is the last thing on my mind. I go home feeling like a zombie. I sit through the evening meal on an auto-pilot; not hearing what my spouse and kids are discussing. The day ends with me heading to bed with a cloud over my head. With the alarm ringing in the morning – the process starts all over again. Does this sound familiar?

We get so caught up in the rut that we forget that our first responsibility is towards ourselves. If we burn out completely, our efficiency drops, our creativity comes to a standstill and we become a nightmare not only for our colleagues, but also our family members. A break from our work is imperative to put things in perspective. Let us look at the reasons why people do not want to take vacations.

1. We are workaholics – addicted to work
2. Is it practical to take a vacation during recession
3. Too much planning involved
4. Wait till the last minute to book vacations and then they are disastrous
5. Job Insecurity - What if they hire someone else in my place while I’m gone?
6. My weekends are a vacation
7. I don’t have enough money to take a holiday
8. Vacations are for the weak – I can take excessive amounts of stress
9. Time is money specially for the self-employed and I cant afford to take time off
10. False sense of Importance – everything will fall apart if I leave

If you are still not convinced that the reasons stated above are your reasons, let us look at a few signs that you in dire need of a vacation:

1. Irritability – frequently losing cool
2. Memory loss
3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
4. Indifference towards work whether at work or at home
5. Anehodonia – inability to feel happiness
6. Tunnel vision – Inability to think of creative solutions
7. Performance curve goes downhill

A Vacation does not mean that you have to go to an exotic place far away which matches the brochures at your travel agent’s desk. It can be going on a road trip a few hours away from home for a change of scenery and a break in the usual routine. A holiday time can be as lengthy as three to four weeks or a few days break every quarter – the choice is yours.

The point is that everyone needs to pause their lives for a few days. Think of it like a hard disk of a computer, if it is on 24/7 it will heat up and get clogged with the open active softwares, reducing the quick decision making support needed by the user. Every now and then it needs to shutdown, refresh, reboot and be ready for action again.

When you take a vacation it is not a time off, but a conscious effort to switch off so that you can be efficient for the next eleven months. Vacations are not a luxury but a necessity. The benefits are immeasurable but a few are listed below:

1. You come back refreshed
2. You live longer by giving the everyday stress a break
3. Your mental health improves
4. Your personal relationships improve which have a direct impact on your professional life
5. You recapture your childhood by cutting free from all your responsibilities and just having fun
6. Your creativity comes back
7. Your productivity improves
8. Your emotional life becomes less volatile – you become a better team player
9. You become a better problem solver as the clutter has been cleared
10. You look amazing with a glow on your face, a glint in your eyes and and a healthy tan to prove outdoor activity

Do not underestimate the impact a little time-off can give you. Go ahead and call your travel agent now and book a vacation suiting your budget. Leave your laptop and your Blackberry home.

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