I have never been very good about using all my vacation time. I feel guilty both about not maintaining work/life balance and for burdening my co-workers when I’m away.
We’re moving to an unlimited vacation policy where we don’t have a fixed number of days; instead, we’re free to take what we need. I fear I’m going to do even worse on taking time off with the new approach. – Forget Vacation
I admit I had to read this article twice. The first time I got stuck on the phrase “unlimited vacation days”. I found myself dreaming of a life of Reilly. Upon my second read I grasped the seriousness of this reader’s question. I’m in agreement with Reyer, “Time away makes employees more valuable. We come back refreshed, re-energized, and with renewed enthusiasm for our work.” Not to mention, it’s imperative that when we work every day without time off we learn that our energy level shifts. When we’re exhausted and operating in a mental fog, who are we really helping? I also know many of us we do not have the luxury of “unlimited vacation days”. Therfore, we must find daily moments of self-care among our work day. My top three:
- Savor the commute. I often stop by my produce stand. This stop allows my mind to wander creatively as I think up dinner ideas.
- Unplug. Working in a hospital and academia, I learned to take a lunch break away from my office and to truly enjoy my meal.
- Stay healthy –Taking the stairs or walking across campus to appointments allows me a moment of solitude in what is often a busy day.