Happy last days of summer!

I would love to wave a magic wand and extend August another month, wouldn’t you? Beach days, trips on my brothers’ boat and sunset dinners eaten on the deck – that’s what our August is about. Having a great summer

We schedule our downtime at the beginning of the year. Of course, we are still beholden to the school calendar with a teen in the family, but we love our time away. It’s an opportunity to see new places, think creatively and enjoy our family. Downtime is great for your productivity.

According to a study in the Harvard Business Review (HBR), in 2003 people in the U.S. took 20 days of vacation. In 2015, that number dropped to 16. That’s nearly a week less. What’s happening? People take less time off because they are afraid to lose their jobs or figure the backlog upon their return isn’t worth it.

And the double-edged sword of technology is people don’t have to ever leave the office. They carry it with them on their smartphones. Case in point, I am writing this on my phone while my daughter tries on clothes at the outlets. And yes, we are on vacation. Oops. But trust me we have packed in non-stop fun, rest and relaxation with friends and family!

Statistically, taking time off from work results in lower stress, greater happiness and success. But we are so focused on being constantly productive, we have forgotten how to unplug and do nothing. This morning, I finished my workout on our mini beach by the bay, pulled up a chair and sat. I didn’t have my phone or a book or anything, just the beautiful serene view of the duck couple paddling by. Bliss…

If you think that taking all of your vacation days will impair your success at work, the statistics indicate the opposite. If you take 11 or more vacation days, “you are 30% more likely to receive a raise.” (HBR)

Instead of a bunch of to-dos to increase your productivity today, I want to offer you just one thought – take a vacation! You deserve it. Let me know where you go and what fun adventures you have.

To your success!

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