With the arrival of a new year (and decade!) comes a brand-new set of vacation days. As Americans, we’re accustomed to long hours at the office plus staying connected in our fast, 24/7 culture. With this level of hard work and dedication, we really need our vacation time to refresh and avoid burnout. Surprisingly, over half of us leave vacation time on the table, and many don’t take any vacation at all! Not taking all of our vacation days means donating free time to the workplace, and who really wants that? This week we examine some of the incorrect perceptions about vacation time and discuss why you need to schedule a vacation now, before the year gets away.
“I’m too busy at work to take time off.” This is a common concern among many of us but remember: if you don’t emphasize some R&R, you’ll be facing burnout sooner or later. Instead, set a positive example among your boss and colleagues by taking all allotted vacation days. If you’re worried about work piling up, be selective when choosing dates, book them well in advance, and communicate your intentions with your manager and co-workers. It’s often not as difficult as you think to pass along a few crucial tasks while you’re away. Plus, if the thought of your email box exploding is just too stressful, know that hotels anywhere in the world have Wi-Fi for at least some peace of mind, though we recommend trying to truly disconnect for as long as you can.
“My work culture doesn’t allow it.” If you think your workplace doesn’t encourage vacations, know that people who use all their vacation time are promoted more than folks who leave some or all on the table. Why might that be? It’s actually pretty simple – employees who are burned out aren’t as productive. Burnout also leads to job hunting, which ironically leads to taking time off to fill out applications and interview. Instead of this negative cycle, a vacation lets you come back more energized than before, leading to better performance, satisfaction and job growth. So, even if your workplace may not seem like it values time away, the dollars and cents support it for both you and them.
“Traveling is a hassle.” Maybe you’re somebody who travels a lot for work, or just doesn’t think travel is all that relaxing. That’s where a respected travel advisor comes in! A well-planned vacation at the perfect location for de-stressing does take time to research. So, relinquish that chore and let your only goal be to come back refreshed with special memories and stronger connections with loved ones. Sure, it takes some planning on your part to get the ball rolling. Once it’s all said and done, though, any hassle is far outweighed by the experiences you’ll be able to cherish for a lifetime.
You’ll thank yourself for taking time off – and so will your family. Time off from work is good for both you and your family. It’s easy to get stuck in the routine of multitasking at family events, checking phones for work email and the latest social media post. Vacations help break that routine to reconnect with those you love most. Taking paid time off is also good for your health, decreasing the risk of heart disease, depression, and high blood pressure. Aren’t a few days away from the office worth all this?
Don’t get stuck at the end of the year with leftover vacation days. Make it a goal to take all of your hard-earned time and see what other benefits befall you!