Vacation Series: Remembering to Take Vacation


By Jason Brandt (@Jasondmg3)

All week long, we’ve been talking about things to do while your clients (not to mention half the office) is away on vacation. Whether it’s clearing your workspace or clearing your head, there’s a way to make the most of the downtime while still remaining productive.

Today, youre not going to like this post.

Today, Im going to be a pain in the ass.

Today, instead of just giving you practical ideas for what to do with the time you find when most of your colleagues and clients are out, Im going to get in your face and demand to know WHY youre in the office.

“Oh, but theres so much to do… someone needs to stay here while everyone else is out… I couldn’t afford a big vacation this year so theres no point taking the time…”

No good. When you dont take a vacation, several things happen.

  1. You work for free. Your salary assumes that you are working every weekday minus holidays and the PTO days that youre allotted. Unless youre paid overtime, when you work on those days instead of using them as allotted, youre not getting paid for those days.
  2. You lose perspective. You cant think outside the box IF YOU NEVER LET YOURSELF OUTSIDE THE BOX. And by “box I mean “cubicle. Get out and remember that the world exists during the day: the sun is shining, people are walking around, and its nice to be one of them from time to time.
  3. You lose energy. Routine can be pleasant and efficient, but if followed too long, it will just drive you down. You need a change of pace to perk yourself up.
  4. You shortchange your team. If youre always there getting everything done, what experience is everyone else getting? How are they learning if youre always there? How are you teaching them to be adaptive?

You came here for some ideas for what to do, so heres todays assignment:

  1. Count. Determine exactly how many vacation days you have left this year.
  2. Plan. Make a plan for what to do with those days off. And it doesnt have to cost money. Take a few long weekends. Schedule a visit to nearby family. Plan a day picking apples or going hiking. Schedule a day to surprise the kids by keeping them home for a special treat. Treat yourself with a museum visit. A movie marathon. A spa day. Time to really devote yourself to your hobby. Hell, plan a day to stay in your pajamas.
  3. Assign. Submit the request or announcement and make it official.
  4. Sit back. Enjoy looking forward to some very deserved time off, and marvel as you discover that you are not, in fact, indispensable.

If you need help – or even more convincing – check out “How to Take a Vacation and “The Importance of Taking a Vacation During Stressful Economic Times.”



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