As the pace of work increases, more and more workers are afraid to take vacation. The main reasons we hear from colleagues and clients is that there will be way more work piled up when they get back and it is not worth the stress. Or they feel they will be looked upon negatively by the company if they take a vacation.

It can be tough to take vacations in companies that don’t push for their employees to do so, or worse, say they are pro work life balance but then subtly penalize employees who do take all their allotted sick days or vacation days.

Next week End Grain Industries is taking a week off. The first week of August is always a great time to spend with friends and family and to reset before taking on the second half of year.

So without further ado I will leave you with a quick list of why you should take a vacation and how to make it a little easier on yourself when you get back.

Why you SHOULD take a vacation:

1. It helps lowers stress.

2. People who do not take vacations are at a higher risk of dying (who knew!?)

3. Reconnect with family and friends.

4. It re-energizes you and helps increase productivity.

5. You deserve it.

Ways to make it easier:

1. Plan a critical to do list for the week leading up to vacation so you are not rushed that last day before taking off.

2. Determine the critical tasks that must get done WHILE you are away and ask colleagues to help complete them.

3. Determine the tasks that can wait and put them on a to-do list for when you get back.

4. Block your calendar for the first day back to follow up on what was completed, what happened while you were away and what you need to get done that day.

5. Communicate to your manager, clients and colleagues who to contact for assistance in your absence.

Enjoy the first week of August and go book some time for yourself to reconnect and recharge.