There are many people who still think that hoarding their vacation days is the best way to go. So, if this sounds like you, rest-assured tha you are not alone in your thinking. Unfortunately, just because a lot of people are doing it, does not make it right. It is estimated that billions of dollars are forfeited every year in vacation time because employees either quit or lose their time, they wait until the last minute when they can’t use them because others are on vacation, or they are scared of job security so they do take them. This just isn’t right.
One of the most important things you can do to avoid burnout and keep yourself healthy, is plan ahead for vacation. When you wait until the last minute, there is a good chance that you may not be able to take the time. If you plan on hoarding all your time to take over the holiday, you better hope you are not fighting everyone else for the same time off. There is nothing worse than forfeiting time because you waited too long to take your days.
You should become familiar with the requirements made by your employer. Some require you to request your vacation time a certain number of days or weeks in advance. If you are worried about raising eyebrows, avoid taking days during the busy season or over major holidays. If you have several weeks of vacation, you are always better to take this time spread out throughout the year when possible. This allows you to constantly become refreshed. When you hoard your time and take it all at once, you risk burnout the rest of the year.
Why You Need a Vacation
It is easy to fall in the trap of saying that you can’t afford to go anywhere, so you just won’t take any time off, but this is unwise. Even if you only spend a couple days camping or indulging in a few good books, lying in the hammock all day, you need a vacation! Studies suggest that employees who take regular vacations are at a 32 percent less risk of dying from heart disease. If that doesn’t motivate you enough to pencil a little relaxation time into your schedule, nothing will. So, why else do you need to use your vacation days?
- Promotes Creativity – It is easy to get stuck in a rut mentally when all you do is work.
- Keeps You Healthier – As mentioned, vacation time lets you recharge your battery. Even if you have one day off a week, that does nothing for you because chances are good that you are spending that day running errands, cleaning and thinking about work.
- Strengthen Relationships – Whether you take a vacation with your significant other or your children, it gives you time to strengthen those bonds.
- Improve Job Performance – You simply cannot be a quality employee when you are mentally and physically exhausted. When you come back from a vacation, you are excited, refreshed, focused and traditionally better at what you do.
You Deserve It
The main reason you should take every bit of your vacation days is because you deserve it! You work hard all year. In fact, it is suggested that Americans today work more hours than ever before, with less pay. You deserve to dip into your savings, or pull out that credit card. You don’t have to stay at a five-star resort every single night, but maybe make a point to at least stay one night of your vacation someplace extra special.