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Take a beat: You need your vacation.

8 Jan


The reality of life for most of us is that we aren’t going to escape without having to put in some work. While the day in day out of work will vary, the impact on our mental and physical health will be the same if we don’t take steps to recharge. In an article by INC. Taking a Vacation is Part of Your Job it highlights that athletes take a break to rest and care for themselves after strenuous bouts of exertion. The comparison to marathon runners is, I think, very accurate.

Life is a marathon. Long roads with varied scenery. Sometimes you’ll be in the lead, and other times you’ll be pulling up the end of the line. You’re usually in good company, but sometimes you’re on a stretch alone.

However you get through the 26.2 (or 365,) it’s important to rest up afterwards; Runners don’t feel guilt about taking a break, so why do employees?  Work is a series of marathons. Few runners would dream of successfully tackling multiple marathons in a row (unless your this guy,) but too often employees think it’s okay to go years without a real vacation. That’s not healthy. I would challenge that anyone who hates time off to refresh, examine their head space, or to travel, needs to see a therapist.  Everyone needs time to rest their mental muscles.

I always tell my team to take care of themselves. Take vacation time early and often; it’s healthier than taking one large break at the end of the summer.

The work will always be here. With or without YOU. And YOU have a finite amount of time to spend doing anything. I’d recommend using that time wisely. A company shouldn’t fall apart without you for a few days, and if it does, there is a larger operations issue at needs to be addressed–and unless you’re the COO, that’s not really your problem.

So. Doctor’s Orders: take your vacation. Your not doing yourself, or your company any favors by working yourself to death. And if you do die from overworking,  I promise you, someone new will be found to replace you in short order. It’s not meant to be callous. It’s just business.

The beat goes on.