I’ve found that one of my biggest assets as a person and as an employee is that I know myself really well.. my weaknesses, my strengths, things I have a hard time remembering, how long it takes me to do something, capitalizing on days when I have more energy than others, etc. I’m guessing it’s my sports background that’s helped me the most with understanding this and practicing how to adapt based on how my body and mind feels that day. With the start of every new year, I tend to fall into a habit of planning out the year in terms of what I want to do, where I want to travel to, what I need to improve on, etc. This time last year, I was a part time employee trying to work as much as I could while balancing school work so I could learn as much as I could and make money. This year things are very different now that I’m a full time employee and am having to balance different things. I took a step back today and have implemented a couple of things to help make sure I remain balanced for the long term. One of these is tracking my vacation time.

Why?

Frankly, I tend to overwork myself and lose track of time. This is an awesome thing because the days pass by quicker and I truly enjoy my work. The downside is I don’t realize when I’m beginning to get worn down and I tend to take on too much. This can be crippling when the days hit where my energy is gone, my brain is fried, and there’s too much I feel I need to do. I’ve found that the more purposeful I can be about the things I do in life the better balanced I am.

I had a job working at a dorm room in college. Part of the job included a couple of shifts from 12AM to 8AM. During one of these shifts, I had a conversation with a college basketball coach who was helping with one of the camps staying at the dorm over the summer. He told me that balance is more important than happiness and it’s stuck with me ever since. Plus, a day off from work means a “day on” doing something else to grow in a new way (reading, writing, exploring, photographing,etc.).

Beyond that, I’m realizing how obsessed our culture is with efficiency that it’s almost as if we’re trying to turn ourselves into machines. We track how long people work and when they work but do we track time they take off or whether they are really off? I’ve heard so many stories of people going on vacation only to bring their phone and computer with them so they can plug away for a few hours each day. After all, it’s just a few hours, right? It all adds up and in the same way we as employees are purposeful about working and meeting deadlines I think it’s important to do the same for time off. Here’s to time off and to going to some exciting places when I do (whether via reading or plane 🙂 )

Relevant Articles

From Open (Unlimited) to Minimum Vacation Policy

The Limits of Unlimited Vacation Policy

3 comments

  1. You could be the ad writer for commercial where kids plead with parents for one more vacation day! How much more they could learn – languages other cultures etc. Very funny but the underlying reality is how low we Americans are on vacation days. It does not need to be even the planned two time out. Every day should have planned Tim out. Years ago I practiced disciplined meditation. Now I am trying to recapture the discipline with “Centering Prayer” with a Church group. With less work activity I am frustrated how difficult it seems. Mainly because I’ve bed struggling with health crisis that have distracted keeping a schedule.

    I applaud your focus and congratulate you using your undergrad psych studies to develop this personal plan you will be a better employee future entrepreneur as leader of your own vision. Cheers for 2015!

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