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The 1 reason why you should never work during vacations

We can start by questioning your assumptions of what will make you successful. Does working hard mean working long? Will working during your vacation will make you appear more dedicated or valuable?

For successful people who love their work it’s tempting to check business emails and maybe even do a little bit of tasks while on vacation, but those stolen minutes could be hurting you more than you think.

Work while on your vacation have a major impact on trip memorability:

You’re missing out on all the benefits of time off. A study conducted by the University of Texas and vacation rental site Homeaway.com found that working on your trip for just one hour a day can make you 43% more likely to have trouble remembering your vacation.

Something memorable requires two things, says University of Texas psychology professor and lead researcher on the study Art Markman. “The first is engagement; it’s the energy you put into it,” he explains. “The second is distinctiveness; something out of the ordinary. The reason why you can’t remember what you had for lunch is because lunch is lunch. You do it every day.”

Working on your vacation impacts both of these factors. You’ll be busy and not as engaged, and the time won’t be distinctive because you’re still working, something you do during the rest of the year.

Your brain works significantly better at positive than at negative, neutral or stressed. When you are on vacation, do not use your phone to reply to work emails. Instead, use your phone to take photos or look up activities you want to do on your trip. Those who took photos and selfies using their phones were 40% more likely to remember their vacations well than those who didn’t.

But stick to two hours or less per day “Using your phone longer can make you 26% more likely to have trouble remembering your trip,” Markman says.

The happy secret to better work:

You are more than your job. A vacation is not a just a chance to relax, but also an opportunity to have new adventures, practice your hobbies, and generally do the things that make you happy.

The happiest individuals dream big and work hard to turn those dreams into achievable goals. Currently most people believe that if they are successful they will become happy. This is flawed because:

  1. When you achieve success, you immediately shift the goal posts further. If you get good grades, you need to get better grades next time. So you will never achieve success and always push it over the horizon into the future.
  2. Happiness makes someone more successful. “The Happiness Advantage” means you are better at getting a job, 31% more productive, more resilient.

We believe we should work hard in order to be happy, but could we be thinking about things backwards? In this fast-moving and very funny talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that, actually, happiness inspires us to be more productive.

Do your best and your career moves will keep pointing you in the right direction.

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