Americans love to think of themselves as busy workaholics — even though, give or take, they do about 590 hours of actual work per year — and as a result, they can’t sacrifice time for vacations; they annually leave about 430 million days on the table. ( ** Puts rifle to scrotum ** ) The biggest reason is thinking it will hurt you professionally. Here’s my rebuttal there: if you work at a place where departing for 1–2 weeks to recharge and have fun with family and friends is going to hurt your ability to get promoted, f’n get a new job.
Turns out this reluctance to head for vacation is hurting your overall well-being too.
This is all part of the Well-Being Index. 148K Americans were polled from January to November; factors about their life were then sliced and diced along this continuum of Well-Being. A number close to 100 is better.
So look at that chart above: if you make less than $24K a year, but you make time for vacation with family/friends, you have about a 66.3 Well-Being score. If you make more than $120K a year (about five times more money, then) but you don’t make time for vacation, you have a 55.1 Well-Being score.
In short: you can be poor, but make time for people and loved ones, and you’ll be better off than being rich and never leaving your bubble.
I know you think you’re busy and overworked and OMG there is no time and JESUS I CAN’T EVEN TAKE THE TIME TO RESPECT MY EMPLOYEES, but this chart above — and yes, you can argue with the data, just like you can argue with anything — is a pretty simple reminder that if you want to be happier, to be more content, to have a stronger sense of well-being, frankly if you want any of it, take some time to rest, relax and recharge with your friends. It’s not that complicated.
My name’s Ted Bauer; I blog here regularly and I’m a member of the BlogPoets network. My deal: I try to think differently about work, the future of work, leadership, management, marketing, organizational development, customer experience, and more. I’m out here trying to chase real professional connection and collaboration, not just 200K page views. Anyone want to talk? (I also do freelance and ghostwriting work, if anyone’s into that.)