Last week, I took a vacation with my family to Myrtle Beach, SC. It was a great trip filled with family time with my wife and 3 children as well as some one-on-one time with my wife. By the end of the week, I felt refreshed and re-energized. It was just what I needed after moving through a very busy period of time for me at work.
I am a big advocate of using all of the vacation time that is allocated throughout the year. I hear of folks that have unused vacation hours at the end of the year that they lose – and I just don’t understand it. It’s a benefit that is given to me by my employer and it is a way for me to get away from it all and have a renewed sense of passion for what I do. We all need our vacations.
Maybe you don’t feel like you need a vacation. Maybe you have a job that if you took time off everything would fall apart. Maybe you’re in a position where finding time to vacation seems like more work than not taking a vacation.
I wanted to share with you some ways to know that it’s time for you to take vacation:
- You put up a bed in your office. If you find yourself sleeping in your office regularly, you need a vacation. Long hours are not a sign of success – it’s a sign of poor self-leadership.
- Your kids begin asking who that strange man is kissing mommy. If you aren’t spending regular time with your kids and connecting with them, then you’re missing why we work…and you need a vacation. Our kids need and deserve the best of us and we cannot replace time with our children with time at our job.
- Your spouse begins attending the single-parenting life group at your church. If you’re husband/wife can’t count on you to be home regularly and predictably, then you need a vacation. Our spouses married us because they love…us. They didn’t marry us because of our income or our job. They want us home and spending quality time with them.
- You yell at the lamp in your office because you swear that it’s making faces at you while you’re trying to work. If you find yourself extremely irritable and somewhat delusional, you need a vacation. Both are signs of burnout and whether it’s a lamp, a co-worker, or a family member – none of them deserve your anger or retaliation for things they probably really didn’t do in the first place.
- You have 20 documents open on your computer, but all you can do is play solitaire. Finding it hard to focus on assignments and projects and being easily distracted mean that it is time for you to take a vacation. Often, the quality of our work begins to degrade until the point that we enter panic mode. But, if we take regular time away, we will find it easier to concentrate and accomplish the things that need to be done.
What do you think? Have you experienced any of these? Are you experiencing them now? When do you have your next vacation scheduled for and where are you going? Comment below and let me know!