Use Your PTO

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!

But Really Though Visits – The Pacific Science Center in Seattle

B and I took a much needed mini-vacation to Seattle at the end of April. We spent most of the trip visiting with our pacific northwest friends but we took an afternoon to ourselves to go visit the Pacific Science Center, specifically to see the Terra-cotta Warriors that the PSC are borrowing from the People’s Republic of China.

First of all, how cool is that! This beautiful museum was able to negotiate with a country to get this magnificent artifacts for a limited time. This is beautiful and brings me so much joy. I love that history and knowledge can be shared amongst the many different continents and countries on our planet.

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One of the high ranking officers – look how close we are to the warriors! Amazing, isn’t it?

Now, let’s talk history for a minute. For anyone that doesn’t know (or went to school before these were discovered in 1974) the Terra-cotta Warriors are clay soldiers, horses and armour that are surrounding the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. Qin united the warring states of China around 221 B.C. He was a skilled leader and military strategist. Qin wanted to achieve immortality, even went so far as to drink mercury in an attempt to achieve it, and ordered for his mausoleum to begin being constructed shortly after he took the throne. This mausoleum has four main pits, three of which are filled with terra-cotta warriors, dancers, and tombs of sacred animals. Since the tomb’s discovery in 1974 thousands of these lifesize clay creations have been excavated but the emperor’s main tomb still remains untouched. It is believed that the emperor may have designed booby traps or that the artifacts may be harmed by opening this main tomb. For now, we can only speculate on the treasures that lie directly with the emperor.

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Another higher ranking official – is it believed that they were all holding weapons when they were originally buried but the weapons disintegrated over time.

Now that we are all caught up on the history I’ll give you my thoughts on this exhibit. In short, IT WAS SO F*CKING COOL. The Pacific Science Center allowed patrons to get extremely close to the artifacts (without touching or using flash photography). The entire exhibit felt magical. Catering to families, and adults who like to play, they set up stations where you could attempt to rebuild a terra-cotta warrior.

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This room was filled with replicas of the warriors and the state of the warriors when they were uncovered in 1974.

The museum also set up a room designed to make you feel like you were walking through one of the many pits filled with warriors. I was so impressed with how interactive the PSC was able to make the exhibit. B and I spent almost two hours just walking through this one exhibit. The PSC did an incredible job with presenting information at each artifacts station and relating it to the history of Emperor Qin.

One we emerged from the magic of history in this exhibit we explored the rest of the PAcific Science Center. The museum is very tactile outside of this exhibit and has an outside water area, learning stations for sleep, play, personal hygiene, a butterfly room and insect display and a space section.

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Play is important for all!

 

But really though, I could not recommend this museum more! If you are ever in the pacific northwest you must check it out!

What are some of your favorite museums? B and I try to visit one in every city we visit.