Vacation, It’s Yours. Take One!

Hawaii Vacation Time
You worked for it, take it. (Image: Shawn Ward)

Some facts:

  • Over half of those that earn vacation time at work, don’t take it
  • Unused PTO time is left on the table by those exiting their jobs, never to be paid out
  • We are usually full of excuses  as to why we don’t take a vacation or rarely never take one
  • The average employee donates $561 to their employer each year because they don’t use their benefit time

That last one bothers me. I work hard and I am not going to pay my company back for work off that I have earned. I’m going to take those days. No one can just keep going. Even those that made it big in the business they’re in or run like Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, and Tim Cook find time to take a break. They know vacation guilt is something of a wasted emotion. They also know, if they cannot find time to refresh themselves, they’re only creating risk for themselves or the teams that they lead. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using our benefit time earned. We have everything to lose when we choose not to take it.

Most of the time we make this belief up in our heads we need to save them like a hoarder for “what if” scenarios. Read the facts above. Most of the time we forget. Like good little soldiers, we just keep working our butt off. None the wiser until its time to cash in because we’re burned out or leaving the company we put blood, sweat, and tears into. In some of those cases, they are just gone. So take them!

“Well Shawn, I got to much work.” Don’t we all! Guess what though? There’s always going to be work to do. And, sometimes, we make it out to be more than we should. Take a hard objective glimpse at your work. Is the fact that you feel that way and you can’t let go because you haven’t opened up an opportunity for a someone to learn about your work that could take over? Have you spent enough time with your current protégé teaching them your role so could step away? Or, are you the ONLY ONE who can do what you can do? I bet you’re not. Might be time to be more productive at what you do by working through others so you can create a successor and sub for those vacations you want to take.

“It’s just to much money to take a vacation.” The best vacations I’ve had, have been stay-cations. They’re amazing and literally cost the same if I had staid at work. Vacationing doesn’t mean you need to take a $3,000+ vacation. It could be just taking some you time and opening an opportunity to discover/explore something you’ve wanted to do locally, but never had the opportunity to explore. What would you do with yourself if you had the opportunity to just read a book, work on the yard that’s falling apart, or paint/remodel a part of the house you’ve not been able to get to? A clear break from work can be a great break from work and just what the Doc ordered.

Stopping putting that time off. Stop paying your company back for the work you’ve earned benefit time for. Take it, don’t waste it.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’re on a vacation right now. 🌴🌴🌴

✌ Shawn

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