A new study reveals exactly how working during your vacation hinders your ability to relax.
The mere thought of sifting through a massive pile of unread emails after you return from a vacation is enough to make you want to chip away at your work while you are at the beach and supposed to be relaxing. But if you knew how harmful this stolen time is for your vacation experience, you would think twice next time you thoughtlessly reach for your laptop.
One hour working = 43% fewer memories from your vacation
Even one hour of working in your hotel room (or terrace, or beach…) tricks your brain and decreases by 43% its capacity to remember the vacation, a study by Texas University and Homeaway reveals.
Why is that?
There are two conditions required for the brain to remember an experience:
1. full engagement in what you are doing (both body and soul)
2. difference from your everyday life.
By working on your vacation, you break both rules, letting your brain slip into its normal schedule of email-checking instead of unwinding and being genuinely disconnected.
Leave your laptop at home
Don’t event think about taking your laptop if you want to genuinely relax on your vacation. According to the same research, people who used their laptops for working found it harder to remember their vacation than those who only used their smartphones. The reason? The laptop is so much more comfortable and makes it easier to work more, while the phone – with its inconvenient keyboard and smaller screen – is easier to throw away once you finish with your most urgent deeds.
How to use your smartphone really… smartly
It’s not necessary to leave your phone behind if you don’t feel like it. Actually, if you use it for taking photos for up to two hours a day, it can increase by 40% the amount of memories you have from your vacation.
* We know that a true workaholic would never read an article like this, so it’s your job to forward it to a friend who needs a reminder that working on their vacation doesn’t do them any good.