Are you wearing your bank of vacation hours as a badge of honor?

This phenomenon has always eluded me.  We earn time off to be able to re-energize our batteries, yet somewhere along the road we took on a belief that the world would not operate if we didn’t come to work, answer e-mail and respond to phone calls 24/7, 365 days a year. Sound familiar?

Well, you’re not alone. Most of us are only using half of our earned time off and out of the half that is using it, we are still doing work or being contacted by our team or employer during that time. YIKES!

Yes, there are health-related benefits to taking vacation. There are also relationship benefits! Starting with your relationship with yourself and your family.

I hear people talk about the things they want to do in their life and then they bow their head and quietly say, “I wish I could take the time, but it will have to wait until this big project is done.”  Then when the project is finished, guess what happens? There’s another bigger project ready to step into its place and the cycle repeats itself.

When I ask them if they have had a conversation with the leader of their team about taking time off, the response has been, “Yes they say go, yet I don’t feel I can.”

What will it take for us to begin to shift this unhealthy habit? No amount of kale consumption, meditation or exercise can replace the real down time that a vacation provides. 

What will it take for you to give yourself permission to take the time you have earned? What have you been putting off doing because you don’t have the time e.g. a trip to the beach, a long bike ride, going to see family?

Take a moment to imagine how you would feel after doing something that brings joy to you. Spending time with family and friends can create a bonding relationship that will help carry you through your next big endeavor and challenge at work.

What if you just decided to say yes to you and reclaim your calendar today? Here’s a very simple idea that has worked for my clients and myself:

  • Make a list of things you want to do over the next three months
  • Open your calendar and schedule them just like you would book commitments with your clients, team members or customers
  • You may need to create the space for vacation time by rescheduling appointments

If you need to reschedule an appointment, don't let the fear of doing that stop you. You are worth it and you have earned the time. 

In my experience, most people are more than happy to accommodate someone taking time off. We tend to create a story in our head that they will be mad or upset which prevents us from taking the action to reschedule the appointment and most times that story is just not true. 

Be courageous and begin a new habit of living life now, not tomorrow by reclaiming your calendar starting today! If you would like to talk more about what gets in your way of doing this, click here to set up a discovery call with me today.