The more motivated you are to achieve, the more motivated you'll be to enjoy that much deserved time off, say researchers.

By Macaela Mackenzie
Updated: June 30, 2016

You've heard the saying: "work hard, play hard." After a particularly brutal day at work (or even after a tough boot camp class) you've probably been known to indulge in that happy hour drink or super-sized cookie. But according to a new study published in The Open Psychology Journal, the idea that you should play hard because you work hard has more weight behind it than you might think. (It's OK to ask for some time off BTW. Here's Your Guilt-Free Guide to Taking a Mental Health Day.)

The study found a statistical correlation between the motivation to seek accomplishment and attraction to leisure. Their findings are based on results from a survey of nearly 1,400 undergrads at the university. Students first identified their age, gender, religious affiliation, and cultural background before researchers asked questions to determine their basic attraction to religion, parenthood, accomplishment or fame, and recreation time. (Speaking of R & R., are you getting the most rest and relaxation out of your time off?)

The results showed a particularly strong connection to measures of legacy, which basically boils down to a desire to feel accomplished and successful with measures of leisure-wanting time for hobbies and relaxation. In other words, the students who wanted to work hard and reach their goals also had a stronger desire to have fun and just chill out.

The results also pointed to two distinct types of people who are all motivated by different things. The first group scored high in their interest around religion and parenthood but was pretty nonchalant about success or down time. Students in the third group are what the researchers classified as highly-motivated "go-getters," showing a strong interest in both achievements and relaxation.

Identify with the latter group? Remeber that beasting your boot camp workout isn't an excuse to go binge drink at the bar, but there's no shame in taking an extra day of PTO for that weekend beach trip. You've earned it.



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