A Workaholics Wakeup Call: Skipping Vacation is a Bad Idea

A Workaholics Wake-up Call: Why Skipping Vacation for Work is a Bad Idea

(Image: iStock.com/mapodile)

Life Coach and Founder of Captain’s Chair Coaching provides insight for workaholics to consider for their next vacation.

A recent survey by the U.S. Travel Association revealed that 40% of employees don’t use all their accrued vacation time, leaving behind more than three unused days per person per year, totaling 430 million days of unused paid vacation annually. (Keep in mind that a substantial segment of the population is far worse off, not getting any paid vacations.)

Unfortunately, there is no real benefit of this sacrifice as it rarely leads to a promotion or salary increase. So what gives? If you can afford to take a few days for rest and relaxation, then why not enjoy a little time away from the office?

Setting aside the research, also consider the economic impact of so many unused vacation days. The U.S. Travel Association estimates Americans’ unused vacation days translate into about $223 billion in lost spending. That’s $223 billion that could be funneled into the domestic economy to support small and large businesses, help create jobs, and ultimately propel the economy forward.

So if the concept of disengaging from the office is still foreign to you, here are ways to identify your goals and the roadblocks holding you back from enjoying a vacation with the following tips:

Tip #1 — Analyze Why You Are Working
Many people say that they are working to provide a better life for their family, or to have more personal freedom. How is it then, that when given the opportunity to take time off and be with their family or relax by themselves, they choose to work? Analyze why you are doing what you are doing and figure out why you are working.

Tip #2 — What is your Motto?
The most common motto for workaholics is “Work hard, play hard!” but there are two parts to it. Yes, we know that you work hard. Now take the opportunity to play hard during a vacation.

Tip #3 — Is Your Motto or Personal Mission Consistent with What You Are Doing?
Take a look at the two tips above and see if there’s a disconnect. Here’s an opportunity to take a look at your motto and your “why” for working, and to gain alignment that serves you.

Tip #4 — What Are Your Expectations of Working Overtime and Giving Up Vacations?
Many people think that working through their vacation will help them advance at a company, or that something bad is going to happen if they leave. Really take a look at what your stories are about working during your vacation. See if those thoughts are true. Chances are, the fact that you overwork may even be holding you back.

Tip #5 — What is Working through Your Vacation Really Serving?
Be honest, why are you really working through your vacation? Is it because you don’t want to be with your family? Or do you not know how to relax? Are you afraid of feeling lonely?
Delve into the things that really have you stuck in work mode and stop making excuses for them.

Whether working overtime on a new project unnecessarily or passing on vacation, consider carefully. Your personal time probably has more value than you have previously considered.

About Jason Dukes

Jason Dukes is a Business Success Coach and Founder of Captain's Chair Coaching

Jason Dukes is a business success coach and founder and CEO of Captain’s Chair Coaching. He is also the creator of the audio series “Give Your Gift to the World–Tools to Live Your Better-than-Ideal Life” available on Amazon.com.  In addition to being a contributor to BlackEnterprise.com, he is also a frequent contributor to other media such as American Business Journals Media Group publications as well as Forbes.com. Jason is a quoted expert on career topics in Monster.com,  Learnvest.com, NextAvenue.org, SmartHustle.com, SmallBizDaily.com and The Network Journal among others. As an international public speaker, Jason has spoken at many conferences including the AgileIndy Conference and the We Are Bravehearts Men’s Retreat in Bermuda. He also leads a monthly networking consortium in NJ titled, “Vision Filled North Jersey — Entrepreneurs and Visionaries.”

Dukes has led teams at NASCAR, served as drag racing manager at Gateway International Raceway, and has consulted for Pirelli World Challenge. He also has served on the Passaic (New Jersey) Zoning Board, served as a public school educator and the Passaic Board of Education. Dukes is a graduate of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

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