How To Make Your Time Off A Priority

Fear not. Your job will still be there!

If you are like most Americans, you work hard everyday. You might also have a difficult time letting yourself take time off from work; statistics show that Americans collectively leave over 170,000 vacation days untaken! Why? Most people fear losing momentum at work or falling behind, yet studies show that taking time off makes us more creative and efficient. If you are vacation-phobic, here are some tips to help make your time off a priority:

Understand why it is good for you

Taking time off allows you to recharge your body and soul. It gives you time to reconnect with your spouse, family and friends. It also teaches you to trust your co-workers with handling your workload, teaches you to delegate tasks and can make you efficient at finishing projects at work (your reward is time off!). When you entrust your work environment and colleagues, it can lead to deeper professional connections and growth; so you are really improving your professional life, not hindering it.

Don’t pressure yourself

Sometimes planning a far-away vacation sounds like a lot of work in itself, so don’t pressure yourself to travel a far distance. Taking a day off can mean going to a yoga class, meeting a friend for lunch or even catching a matinee… anything you want. You can even take a stay-cation and enjoy the sights in your own city or a nearby town, giving you the same adventurous feeling without the stress of spending money on an expensive vacation (and packing and unpacking!).  If finances are your reason for not taking days off, consider starting a part-time flexible business or job to help earn a vacation fund.  This is especially a good idea if you are a homemaker and want to make sure that your family is able to vacation without any financial burdens.

Schedule your time off

At the beginning of each year (or in the Fall at back to school time), try to map out your vacation days and put them on the calendar with your family and work. Knowing that these days are already on your agenda can help you mentally prepare to actually take (and enjoy) them!

Nina Sutton is a TV host, spokesperson and beauty/lifestyle expert. She specializes in mommy beauty and style.  She is also one of the winners of People Magazine’s “Real Beauty at Every Age” contest and was featured in the April 2012 “Most Beautiful” issue. With an MBA and a business background in beauty, fashion and consumer packaged goods, Nina brings real world expertise to audiences around the country.

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