I beg you, please, use your PTO. 52% of employees in the US have unused vacation time.
The American workforce wants to feel like they are the most productive, hardworking and successful which is totally normal BUT we are going about it in the wrong way. The work martyr is not the best employee. Extra time spent working, plugged in, generating ideas, or sitting in the office does not equal a more productive workforce – it leads to a burnt out, exhausted, less productive society. As human beings we need sleep, time to reset (meditation) and food to be productive. We cannot pour from an empty cup; as a society so we must TAKE OUR VACATION DAYS.
I know, taking your PTO can be a pain. What if you miss an important decision or you come back to hundreds of emails that you need to sort through? After looking into the research behind taking vacation the pros definitely outweigh the cons.
Employees who experience burnout are more likely to make a costly decision. Unfortunately, 26% of employees are experiencing burn out according to the American Institute of Stress. Why are burnt out employees more likely to make major mistakes? Because they are unable to break out of their day to day to remember the little details. Research shows that around 95% of our thoughts are repetitive. We get so caught up in our day to day and our “must do” lists that our brains automatically switch in to auto-pilot. Think about a time you were going to break out of your routine and stop by the store on the way home from work. Did you stay present long enough to remember to stop by the store or did your auto-pilot kick in and you ended up in your driveway without the groceries you meant to pick up? Odds are good that if you have taken time off to reset and recharge you remembered to stop – but if you have been overworked you may have missed your opportunity. (Meditation is another great tool for keeping burnout at bay but vacations are just as important!)
Another reason to take time off is to recharge your creativity. If you travel you are more likely to feel inspired and generate more creative ideas. Also travel, even domestically, has positive effects on both physical and mental health. Even taking time off for a staycation helps increase creativity and build more gray matter in our brains. The more time we can spend breaking from our routines the better we can innovate once we return to our routines.
Have I convinced you to take time off yet? Tell me where you want to take your next trip to in the comments below!