November 30, 2021 l by Tara E.
Do you have 100 excuses for not taking time away from work? There are dozens of reasons why we don’t take a vacation. However, everyone deserves to take a vacation. Money can be a showstopper for the more elaborate journeys away from home. However, there is no need to break the bank to carve time out. So, if it’s not about the money, what are the other reasons we don’t take a vacation?
This article will outline five excuses that keep us from taking a vacation and the steps you can take to navigate these challenges.
Why Don’t We Take Vacation
Taking a break from the workplace should be a no-brainer. However, so many factors can get in the way of us taking a much-needed respite. Personal issues can sway our use of our vacation time. However, the power of a boss or co-worker can be just as critical. Let’s take a closer look at those things that get in our way of taking a break.
The Feeling That Something Bad Might Happen During Your Time Away from Work
Whether you are at the top of the executive chain or the bottom of something good, if you are one with multiple responsibilities in the workplace, you may feel obligated to ration your time away from the workplace in fear that something terrible will happen in your absence. The feeling that something wrong will occur while out can be nagging, leaving you with a misguided notion that it might be easier for you not to take time away from work. From meetings to deadlines to process changes that you don’t want to miss, there is always some excuse nagging at you that tricks your mind into believing you cannot miss a single day.
What can you do? Try to stay aware of these impending activities and schedule your time away around them. If this is not a feasible reality, pick your battle. What can you afford to miss? Is there work you can delegate? What can you get a summary of when you return to work? Look at it this way, if you died next week or became too ill to work for a while, would the world stop turning in your workplace? Probably not. Therefore, pick the thing that you could afford to miss.
Inability to Trust Others to Function Well in Your Absence
If you are in a manager-type role, the reality is that you may need to trust someone to function in your stead while you are away from the office. That in and of itself can prove to be a stressful and deterring task. But, but, is the person you’re leaving behind trustworthy and capable of standing in? Can they be trusted to have your back should something start going wrong? Will they discriminate between what requires an immediate response vs. what can wait until you return? Can they be trusted not to throw you under the bus intentionally or unintentionally to your peers or boss? The ability to leave someone in charge for an extended period can be a deal-breaker in the way of taking time away from work.
One critical reason why people don’t take a vacation from work is succession planning. What can you do? If you are a manager or executive leader, the key is to groom your stand-in. Groom your replacement. If you were to get hit by the lottery bus tomorrow, who could you trust to step into your shoes and do a good job? Start early and train this person in everything they need to do the job you want them to do in your absence. If required, groom more than one in multiple areas so that one person doesn’t have all the knowledge.
Your Boss Infers the Need for You to Be There
Perhaps you plan for taking off or you may be whimsical about requesting time off (i.e. on Tuesday, you might request Friday off) to get a bit of rest and relaxation. So, you decide to present your boss with your idea to take a bit of time off from the workplace. There’s nothing like getting the instant gratification of approval from a boss who recognizes that your time off is well-deserved.
However, on occasion, some of us encounter a boss in the workplace who is not shy about inferring that taking time away from work will not be convenient for their plans or upcoming events in the workplace. Unfortunately, these messages often deter individuals from taking time off as they try to stay on their boss’s good side.
What can you do? In this instance, plan. Talk with your boss. Educate them on your plans and your inaccessibility for that time away to plan accordingly. Again, the same scenario applies here. Do not avoid taking time off. Instead, collaborate with your boss to prioritize what requires your attention and presence. Do you have to be there or can someone else stand in for you? If you would prefer to be there, then get ready to be flexible about your time off –but again, take some time off soon!
Destination Unknown: Nowhere to Go for Vacation
Some people do not take time off because they equate time off for an extended period with taking a vacation. But, listen, folks, you don’t have to take an extended trip to appreciate taking some time away from work. If you are not looking to travel anywhere out of state, consider taking a day trip somewhere or planning a staycation. Use the time to get things done around your home. Consider doing something local like going to a game, the movies, shopping, working on a project, or…just relaxing.
Fear of Needing Time Off Later
Some of us can be slow about taking time away from work when we think about the potential need for taking time off later, whether due to illness or injury. However, not all organizations provide their employees with a sick leave bank of time off, and as a result, there are those who will save their time off just in case they need it to care for themselves or another family member such as their child or parent.
Your Physical and Mental Well-Being
Time off is essential to our physical and mental well-being. While there will always be an occasion that prevents us from taking time off as initially desired, one should not abandon the cause for vacation. Vacations are crucial to re-establishing our physical and mental well-being.
You might be reading this article because you’ve been thinking about taking a vacation. Perhaps you are looking for some advice. If so, we hope this article will help you consider another path! Remember to set aside time while on your trip to plan the next one. It will make it easier when you get back from traveling or staycationing (if that’s what you choose). We also recommend succession planning to ensure there is someone else in place who can cover for you if needed. The last thing anyone wants is for their boss to call them during their vacation.