Sunday, November 30, 2014

Using Your PTO to Travel Will Make You Smarter

Every time you take a vacation, you become a smarter, better employee. No, we are not just giving you a good reason for convincing your boss to approve your requested time off. Research actually "shows that experience in other countries makes us more flexible, creative, and complex thinkers," Time Magazine reports.

There are many skills required to successfully navigate a new place, especially a foreign country where no one speaks your language. These are skills that you may rarely, if ever, use in your day-to-day life. If you haven't prepared by learning the basics of the language before your trip, you'll have to be creative and quick on your feet when searching for ways to communicate.

"People with more experiences of different cultures are better able to generate creative ideas and make unexpected links among concepts," Angela Leung, Associate Professor of Psychology at Singapore Management University.

When we are forced to stretch our limits to obtain the things we want and need, this forces us to think differently and see things from new perspectives, which makes us more creative.

"What we're doing when we travel- the new environments, the problem solving, meeting new people and creating new memories. It's all [...] very mentally stimulating," Paul Nussbaum, PhD and President and Founder of The Brain Health Center.

Think about how these experiences may transfer to your work life. These newly acquired skills could easily give you a leg up on the competition next time you're up for a promotion. Even if it only earns you a nice pat on the back for coming up with outside-of-the-box creative solutions, when all of your non-vacationing co-workers struggled to claw their way out of the box, is this not still a win-win? You get to use your paid vacation days, and become better at your job at the same time. This is something many people have yet to figure out. These same people fear that taking time off of work will somehow put them at a disadvantage, and this couldn't be further from the truth. The problem these people have is that they're short-sighted when it comes to understanding why vacations are so important to a company's bottom line.

Taking vacations provide so many countless benefits, to companies and employees alike, that we are learning that it is actually detrimental to not take time off work to travel. In fact, it could end up costing the company money. If nothing else, it helps the company to find points of weakness while essential employees are taking time off to decompress.

"Travel is a wonderful exercise that helps the brain develop resilience. It's that resilience that helps it delay the onset of disease," Paul Nussbaum, PhD and President and Founder of The Brain Health Center.

This tells us that not only will you be at an intellectual advantage, but you'll also be healthier than those who don't use their PTO. Thus, begins the cycle. When you're healthier physically you become healthier mentally and are better able to nurture familial relationships, and this nurturing influences a stronger desire to vacation with loved ones, to continue creating opportunities for those priceless shared moments that strengthen our bonds.

So, next time you plan a trip and request days off at work, you can feel wholly confident in approaching your boss. After all, you're doing him or her a favor. ;)

© / Dollar Photo Club

The Journey of Healthy Aging | Travel Effect
How Travel Makes You Smarter, Sexier, and More Productive | Fox News

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