The Importance of Vacation

I have always been a big believer that vacation is extremely important. But I recently read about a research study out of Indiana University that gave this a new perspective.

Psychologist Lile Jia divided a few dozen undergraduate students into 2 groups and asked both to list as many modes of transportation as they could think of. He told one group of students that this task had been developed by students at Indiana, and the other a group of students in Greece. Surprisingly, there was a significant difference in the results from the two groups.

The group who thought the task originated in Greece came up with far more modes of transportation. Instead of just buses, trains and planes, they also came up with horses, spaceships, bicycles and Segway scooters. The conclusion that was drawn from these results was that the students felt less constrained by their local transportation options because the problem came from far away.

By intentionally getting away from work, we can actually free ourselves to think differently about our business. When we are “a million miles away” from work, we are more likely to see things more clearly.


The Osborne Group has been helping organizations succeed since 1993. Based in Toronto, Ontario, The Osborne Group provides a wide range of professional interim management, project management, and coaching and consulting services to small and medium enterprises, not-for profit organizations, and the public sector.

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