Get the Most Out of your PTO in 3 Easy Steps

Now that Q4 is in full swing and our heads are spinning with hitting our final annual goals, it’s the time to think about taking days off. Seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it? Well, with holidays right around the corner that will take many of us on trips to see family and friends, it’s hard to remember that the holidays may not be exactly… relaxing.

So what to do?

  1. Review your benefits package to check out your employer’s plan for unused PTO days. Some places will let you rollover a portion of your days, but you may lose some of them. Giving up those days is like giving up an extra weekend (or two). You’ve earned those days off, and you should take them.
  2. Plan your days off. If you’re a manager, it’s good to demonstrate the importance of taking time away from the office. If a trip isn’t in the cards, take a stay-cation and enjoy doing your laundry in peace. A day of laundry when other folks are hustling away can be quite rewarding. Or, go and check off some of the items on your bucket list. A museum? Zoo? Botanical Gardens? A new television series that you’ve been waiting to catch the flu to reasonably stay home and watch it non-stop?
  3. Enjoy the day (or two) away from the office. If you can, try to step away from the computer, and give your brain some time to recharge. Getting some mental downtime can give you a good boost of happy thoughts back in the office. And, if you find your brain coming up with new ideas, hurray for enjoying your work so much that your brain can’t help but come up with great ideas! Get some non-screen time in, maybe journal a bit or get into a yoga class.

Good luck taking your hard-earned days off. Don’t forget, Americans are leaving up to 9 days of paid vacation on the table at year end. That’s over a month of weekends! Go get your month of weekends!


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