It’s summer. Time for a break, right?
If you just said "No way," you’re part of a sad American trend. According to Business 2.0, American workers collectively reject a staggering 1.6 million years’ worth of vacation time every year. And between 20 and 50 percent of those who do cash in a few vacation days bring work with them.
Here are three major misconceptions that are keeping many workers from enjoying a vacation:
1. If I’m not here… the work won’t get done.
It is a poorly structured business plan if the plan relies solely on your endeavors and cannot continue for a week without your attention. And you can do your part to override this problem by planning ahead for your absence. If necessary, add an extra 30 minutes to an hour to your schedule each day for a few weeks before your trip. Use that time to complete projects that must be done before you leave and take care of tasks that would otherwise need to be handled during the time you’ll be gone.
2. If I’m not here… I’ll lose my clients.
Clients understand that there will be blocks of time when you cannot be available. (Keep in mind that clients schedule vacation time for themselves.) Make your absence easy on them by letting them know ahead of time when you’ll be gone and for how long.
3. If I’m not here… something will come up that only I can fix.
It’s not productive to run around like Chicken Little, yelling "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" The sky will not fall the week of your vacation. You may be invaluable at your job, but if the fate of the company truly rests on your shoulders, you need to make some serious changes.
You don’t have to sacrifice your work life to make time for yourself. You CAN have both.