Expedia.com recently released a report report showing Europeans earn nearly twice as many paid vacation days (28 yearly) as Americans, and that 54 percent of Americans feel “very or somewhat” vacation deprived. So when was the last time you took some time off?
You just got back from a trip? Me too. And I already need the next one. My name is Christine Calvin, and I take vacations. That’s right, I use all my PTO every year, and I don’t feel an ounce of shame. You should do the same — it’s going to cost your company either way.
The reality is that independent workers don’t get paid vacations, and often don’t have the option to not work. But that shouldn’t come at the cost of leisure—it just means getting a bit more creative with the ever-elusive work-life balance. So, how do you take a trip without anyone knowing?
Let me take a wild guess: You feel like you don’t get enough sleep. Too much to do, you’re stressed out and you think getting eight hours of sleep is about as realistic as keeping current on Oprah’s Book Club. Or maybe you’re annoyed that your body needs too much sleep? Think of all the workouts you could get in, books you could read and emails you could return with a few extra hours in each day. Wouldn’t we all love to train our bodies to require less sleep?
This year, I’m focusing on “no.” It’s a magical word rarely used when it comes to answering work emails on vacation, committing to stuff you swore you would avoid and attending events that drain productivity from your day. And for what? If you count the number of really valuable nonmandatory meetings, networking mixers and fundraisers you attended in 2014, how many would you come up with?