The photo below is from our Cancun 2011 family getaway. And it was the last time I ever worked while on vacation 😊
At the time, I was in project management and working on a MASSIVE 21-country special project on top of my normal client work. For a number of reasons – some of them outside my control, some not…and none of them good ones – I worked for more than two full days at the beginning of that trip before this photo was taken at a cute bar in a park by the ocean.
I watched from my hotel balcony as my family enjoyed the beautiful infinity pool, walks on the beach, and happy hours at the swim up bar.
And I was on my damn laptop.
Everyone has to make choices about work/life balance. Do you work to live, or live to work? Or maybe fall somewhere in between? Do you check emails daily while on vacation, even if it’s just to manage the size of your inbox? Or let it all pile up until you’re back?
You gotta decide what’s right for you. But PLEASE consider the following points:
1 – If paid time off is part of your employee benefit package, and you don’t take that time off, you aren’t going to make any more or any less money. You’re just throwing away days that you could be paid for while sitting on your couch all day watching Netflix, shopping at the mall, or visiting a swim up bar at a beautiful resort 😁
2 – I don’t care who you are, what line of work you’re in, or how old you are…everyone needs a break! Take time off to disconnect and step away from your laptops and iPhones and offices. You’ll be a better spouse, parent, friend, and worker – I GUARANTEE it.
3 – Not only will you be mentally rejuvenated by taking time off and disconnecting from work, you’ll be healthier, too. Stress – even good stress – can be hard on your body.
4 – A “vacation day” doesn’t mean you HAVE to travel somewhere. Staycations rock, too!
Since that trip to Cancun back in 2011, I’ve not worked a single moment on vacations, and I use up every hour of paid time off every year. And it’s been awesome 🙂 I don’t even check email, because there’s a good chance I’ll see something work-related and spend time thinking about it. And I’m just not about that anymore. My time off is too precious. I work damn hard and deserve it a break!
Again, you gotta decide what’s right for you. But take it from someone who has seen both sides of that coin…
You’ll NEVER regret taking time off and making memories with family or friends. But you WILL regret allowing work to take priority over those things.