Will You Fail at Your Vacation?

Did you take any of your vacation time yet this year?

If not, chances are that you are well on your way to not taking all of it.

Over a third of the U.S. population regularly does not take all their vacation days each year.

As much as people complain about their job, they can’t seem to take time off.

Will you fail to take your vacation?

Vacation Fail

It seems to be a strange question, “How can you fail at taking time off?”

Yet, many people fail at taking their vacation days.

Why is this?

For many it is not because of their employer, but rather that they don’t let themselves to take a day off.

If you cannot take time off and recharge, can you be considered effective in your job?

“Should employers look negatively at those who don’t take their vacation time?”

And many who do actually take the time off, fail to truly get away.

They bring work with them. They don’t let go. They stay in touch via email.

Bottom line: They fail at taking their vacation.

Does this sound like you?

Here are just a few ways that people “Fail at their Vacation:”

- Fail to Take It – The number of people who simply do not take their vacation days is simple amazing. Some employers do not allow employees to roll over vacation for this very reason.

- Fail to Cut the Cord – Many people still do work while on vacation. They don’t break their technology leash, continuing to check email and more.

- Fail to Enjoy It – Others simply can’t separate themselves from their work. They talk about, ponder, and generally fail to let go from their work while they should be enjoying themselves.

- Fail to Recharge – Vacation is about recharging. Resetting. Relaxing. Yet, many run themselves ragged to the point that they end up needing a vacation from their vacation.

How To Succeed on Your Vacation

Everyone needs to take time off.

Not taking it is not symbolic of hard work, but rather of a life that is off balance.

Getting away from your work can actually make your more productive. It allows your mind and body to recharge. It allows you to return to your work at a higher level of performance.

Here a just a few tips to help you “Succeed on Your Vacation:”

  • Unplug – Truly unplug while you are away. It means turning off that email on your cell phone. Better yet, turn off the cell phone.
  • Set Expectations – Setting expectations before you leave work, can make all the difference. Make sure your team knows who is responsible in your absence, and that you are only to be contacted if something is on fire.
  • Relax – Don’t be doing work. Don’t bring work with you.  That includes that work laptop.
  • Recharge – Make sure your vacation is just that, a vacation. Recharge your body and mind.
  • Ground Yourself – We often let our work dominate our lives. Use your vacation to reconnect with what is most important. Reflect, review, and reset what is most important to you.
  • Spend it with Friends and Family – When you look back, you will not remember that client report, you will remember the fun adventures that you had with those that are closest to you.
  • Doing Something for You – Make sure that you do something that you enjoy on your time off. Be a little selfish and ensure you include something that excites you.

Take Your Time

Did you take all your vacation time last year?

What was your excuse? Was it your employer, or more likely, you?

Getting away is important.  So, take your time off.

Relax, recharge, and reinvigorate yourself.

Trust me, years from now, you aren’t going to wish that you spent more time in the office.

Do you take all of your vacation time? Why or why not?

No time for time management? Check out my online course designed to jump start your productivity! Take it online on your time and pace. As well, get direct access to me for advice and questions. Get details or enroll now by clicking here!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • al.pittampalli

    Vacation can sometimes feel like you’re cheating on your work! But that’s silly, disengaging is the best thing we can do in service of the work sometimes. Thanks for the reminder.

  • http://annedreshfield.com/ annedreshfield

    As always, Craig, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Technology has made it unbelievably hard to get away — from anything. Unplugging seems to be the only way to get relief. We should be looking forward to the opportunities we may get to unplug, instead of checking those emails every hour!

    • TMNinja

      @annedreshfield When on vacation… before I leave actually, the first thing I do is turn off my work email on my phone. :)

  • al.pittampalli

    Vacation can sometimes feel like you’re cheating on your work! But that’s silly, disengaging is the best thing we can do in service of the work sometimes. Thanks for the reminder.

  • http://annedreshfield.com/ annedreshfield

    As always, Craig, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Technology has made it unbelievably hard to get away — from anything. Unplugging seems to be the only way to get relief. We should be looking forward to the opportunities we may get to unplug, instead of checking those emails every hour!

  • ErinSkellyCameron

    Thanks for this post! I don’t get to take all my vacation days every year, but I use as many of them as I can.

    Just last week, I returned to the office from a two week vacation that was blessedly relax-filled and work free. My first day back, I walked into the office, and before I even turn my computer on, my boss says: “You know that thing I emailed you about?”

    Me: “No, I haven’t checked my email yet. I haven’t even turned my computer on.”

    Him: “But you checked your email while you were gone, right?”

    Me: “Um … no. I was on vacation. I told you I wouldn’t be checking my email.”

    Him: “You didn’t check your email at all while you were gone?”

    Me: “I was on vacation.”

    Him: “So you didn’t check it even once while you were gone?”

    Me: “No, why would I? I was on vacation.”

    Him: “What if there was an emergency?”

    Me: “Was there an emergency?”

    Him: “No. I can’t believe you didn’t check your email while you were gone.”

    Me: “I was on vacation. I told you I wasn’t going to check my email.”

    … and we have this EXACT SAME CONVERSATION every time I come back from vacation. EVERY SINGLE TIME. Despite the fact that I advise him (before I leave) that I will not be checking email. At least I know that HR will get my back on this issue.

    • TMNinja

      @ErinSkellyCameron Erin… um, all I can say is… that’s scary.

      Even more scary that it happens repeatedly. :)

      • ErinSkellyCameron

        @TMNinja He’s a workaholic, and it’s beyond his comprehension that anyone could be any different. The fortunate thing is that he has virtually no short-term memory, so this has pretty much already been forgotten. That and I’m a high performer, so he knows he can’t really complain too much.

  • ErinSkellyCameron

    Thanks for this post! I don’t get to take all my vacation days every year, but I use as many of them as I can.

    Just last week, I returned to the office from a two week vacation that was blessedly relax-filled and work free. My first day back, I walked into the office, and before I even turn my computer on, my boss says: “You know that thing I emailed you about?”

    Me: “No, I haven’t checked my email yet. I haven’t even turned my computer on.”

    Him: “But you checked your email while you were gone, right?”

    Me: “Um … no. I was on vacation. I told you I wouldn’t be checking my email.”

    Him: “You didn’t check your email at all while you were gone?”

    Me: “I was on vacation.”

    Him: “So you didn’t check it even once while you were gone?”

    Me: “No, why would I? I was on vacation.”

    Him: “What if there was an emergency?”

    Me: “Was there an emergency?”

    Him: “No. I can’t believe you didn’t check your email while you were gone.”

    Me: “I was on vacation. I told you I wasn’t going to check my email.”

    … and we have this EXACT SAME CONVERSATION every time I come back from vacation. EVERY SINGLE TIME. Despite the fact that I advise him (before I leave) that I will not be checking email. At least I know that HR will get my back on this issue.

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  • http://www.timokiander.com/ timokiander

    Craig,

    I take all the vacation I can – whenever possible :)

    Right now I’m having my 6-week summer vacation and I’m loving it!

    Do you think that you should also take time off when you are doing your personal projects on your free time as well? Like, I’m building my online business bit-by-bit and I find my vacation time to be great for this (because I have plenty of time).

    Obviously, I’m not spending all my time in front of the computer, but would you recommend days completely offline, when you are building your own business (even if you are passionate about what you do)?

    Timo

    • TMNinja

      @timokiander Timo, most of us Americans cannot dream of 6 weeks of vacation. :)

      I do think vacation is a good time to work on your passions. As long as it is something you enjoy, and it helps your relax, recharge, and reconnect.

      I know that I am always thinking and creating for my passion… no matter where I am.

      Just don’t lose sight of the vacation part. :)

  • http://www.timokiander.com/ timokiander

    Craig,

    I take all the vacation I can – whenever possible :)

    Right now I’m having my 6-week summer vacation and I’m loving it!

    Do you think that you should also take time off when you are doing your personal projects on your free time as well? Like, I’m building my online business bit-by-bit and I find my vacation time to be great for this (because I have plenty of time).

    Obviously, I’m not spending all my time in front of the computer, but would you recommend days completely offline, when you are building your own business (even if you are passionate about what you do)?

    Timo

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  • TMNinja

    @ErinSkellyCameron Erin… um, all I can say is… that’s scary.

    Even more scary that it happens repeatedly. :)

  • TMNinja

    @annedreshfield When on vacation… before I leave actually, the first thing I do is turn off my work email on my phone. :)

  • TMNinja

    @timokiander Timo, most of us Americans cannot dream of 6 weeks of vacation. :)

    I do think vacation is a good time to work on your passions. As long as it is something you enjoy, and it helps your relax, recharge, and reconnect.

    I know that I am always thinking and creating for my passion… no matter where I am.

    Just don’t lose sight of the vacation part. :)

  • ErinSkellyCameron

    @TMNinja He’s a workaholic, and it’s beyond his comprehension that anyone could be any different. The fortunate thing is that he has virtually no short-term memory, so this has pretty much already been forgotten. That and I’m a high performer, so he knows he can’t really complain too much.

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  • Kathleen B. Shannon

    it just made me come back to more work than ever. However, I used the past tense here. Now I set my schedule.

  • Kathleen B. Shannon

    it just made me come back to more work than ever. However, I used the past tense here. Now I set my schedule.