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The Financial Importance of Taking Time-Off

Are you inclined to work through the summer without a break? Given how 2020 has been going, that may not be the best choice. Here’s why…

For people fortunate to continue working through the pandemic, most worked as if it’s business as usual. But, this ‘business as usual’ attitude has left many without a break. It’s been a mindset consistent through-out the changes the pandemic has brought about – trying to keep things ‘normal’. Yet, it’s been anything but business as usual. Social distancing, hand-washing, concerns of getting COVID-19 are just a few of the new concerns. As things unfolded, we worked from home. Our kids were also at home 24/7. Many worked in fear of job loss. Add to that folks who suddenly worked remotely.

Then, summer arrived. Vacations had to be cancelled or postponed due to either concerns or realities of closures, social distancing, etc. As summer began and as states opened-up, we slowly began to get out and begin our summer…well, kinda.

The concerns of today have kept more Americans from taking a break. Yet, that may not be the best choice.

A recent study by Metlife, post COVID-19, found 2 in 3 employees state they are feeling more stressed than before COVID-19. Not surprising! This same study found the following:

The #1 benefit employees stated would ease their stress and improve well-being was Increased paid time off.

In the US, between July and August, many Americans typically have taken a little time off.  But this year, there’s alot of hesitation in doing so. Clearly the pandemic has had an impact. In fact, we may not be able to travel to certain states or countries without experiencing a 2 week quarantine once we arrive. So that has curtailed some vacations. Many feel lucky to be employed given what has transpired. Therefore, they are not likely to make vacation this summer their first priority. Besides, where would you go anyway?

Well, there is value both personally and professionally in taking a good bit of time off.

Time to relax and do some things that are creative. Engaging in activities outside the realm of work are important for your health. And, research has found, it’s also impactful to your productivity. Additionally, time-off just may help you to sleep better at night. More sleepless nights is something many Americans have experienced during the pandemic, The Harvard Gazette.

The Cleveland Clinic states that if you continue to operate without enough sleep, you may see more long-term and serious health problems. 

And how about productivity? Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, is a consultant in Silicon Valley. He is also a visiting scholar at Stanford University. His book, Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less, is an empirical argument in favour of more limited working hours. He also writes about the benefits of active rest. He states that active rest is a means of raising creativity and productivity.

Some of the most successful people engage in things like annual vacations, meditation, exercise to name just a few activities.

As experienced financial advisers, we’ve seen the impacts on the finances of successful people who regularly take time-off. Both their personal financial wellness and business financial wellness are positively impacted. In his book The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work (Crown Business, 2010), Shawn Achor cites research from the American Psychological Association. Shawn’s research found that when “the brain can think positively, productivity improves by 31 percent, sales increase by 37 percent, and creativity and revenues can triple.”

Being personally and financially well is something many Americans struggle with these days.

We all need to find ways to boost our creativity. So, go for it…relax, rest, and/or do something that takes you physically and mentally away from your work. Here’s a short list of ideas:

  1. Garden
  2. Go for a Bike Ride
  3. Go for a Walk
  4. Play Cards
  5. Go Fishing
  6. Go outside and get a few minutes of sunshine each day
  7. Have a socially distanced outdoor get-together with a few neighbors and commiserate
  8. Read a few good books…at the park, in your backyard, by the fire pit, near a pond or lake
  9. Listen to someone tell you their story, and really listen
  10. Meditate

Lisa and Mark Bova have focused their financial services practice on assisting their clients with financial sustainability and legacy. The Creativity Booster is a page in the Lenity Journal to help people toward greater creativity and productivity. The Lenity Journal was created by Lisa and Mark as an important tool to assist clients in achieving their goals. 

The Creativity Booster can be downloaded for FREE at lenityfinancial.com/Journal



My.ClevelandClinic.org – Sleep- what you need to know

The Guardian, Alex-Soojung Kim-Pang

SHRM.org – MetLife’s 18th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study 2020 MetLife.com/ebts2020

The Harvard Gazette – Sleep problems becoming risk factor…

Lenity Financial, Inc.