According to Project: Time Off there are more than 705 million unused vacation days annually, of which 212 million ended up being forfeited and lost forever! This makes for more than 50% of Americans who intentionally or un-intentionally chose not to use their vacation time. Which brings me to the question of why are you NOT on vacation?
For singles, couples or families, vacation time could be a staycation, going to a favorite beach or camping spot. It does not have to be an all out high stress, go into debt Disney, Hawaii or Europe trip. It can be the simple act of stepping away and out of your current schedule. Simple, if you want it to be. All you have to do, is want it bad enough. So do you? or not really…
There can be an endless list of reasons for not going on vacation. Not just here in the United States but also worldwide. A working professional with a brand spanking new career, that they have been dreaming of since childhood, will not be in a hurry to take that vacation time. This was me years ago. Work always came before my personal life. What was I going to do with that extra time off anyway? I was already taking last minute weekend trips. It satisfied my hunger to get away just long enough, so I could run back to work before missing anything new. After all, I didn’t want to miss those coveted opportunities for promotions or bonuses.
Ah, the fear of missing out something new at work. I so don’t miss those moments any more. It can really, without a doubt, throw you off course from what you are truly meant to be doing. Which is workcationing towards your personal goals or just taking time off to reset your brain back to zero.
Without needing to quote scientific studies, let me share with you, why I think taking a vacation is very important. From childhood, we have been trained to go to school and listen to our elders, because they have always known what’s best for us. But what if we know the right answer too? What if we stepped back from the daily grind and stopped listening to the bosses, media, and generations past? What if we chose to listen to our own intuition when it comes to our life matters. What if you stopped all the distractions that surround you and just listened to your inner voice until the answer appeared? What if your vacation or staycation could change your life and you didn’t even know it?
It’s not so easy, I get it. But imagine, what your life could be like if you stopped for a moment from all the craziness of daily life. Take stock of your time off and actually do the act of taking the time off. Taking time off properly, meaning creating the space you need to be your best. Imagine, where it can lead, discoveries about yourself that you didn’t even know. I have often read that our brains are much like a computer. Like the way we turn off computers to let them recharge from overheating, our brains also need the same kind of care. Non stop thinking about our daily activities, family and friend difficulties, financial issues and so much more can take its toll on the human brain.
I believe in two kinds of vacation. One is to have time off with no work to do. Meaning you purposefully do not go near electronics to check work email or even make an attempt to get on that scheduled conference call.
Second is workcationing. Working while on vacation. Traveling to your favorite place and putting in some time with work. However, for me this definition is not what you may think it is.
Please let me explain.
When I refer to workcation, I am referring to the act of contributing to your personal dreams and NOT continuing to check work emails with your current employer. For those who are always dreaming of starting their own business or always wanted to start that blog, workcationing can be the answer they have always been looking for.
Think about it. Using your time away not only to relax and rest, but to also use your time wisely by working on your dreams! Taking that valuable free time and multi-tasking it. Like you do at work 😉 Except now, doing it for you and only you. Making some calls, learning something new, getting some creative writing in, etc.. It can all be done while you are away, whether you are at home or the beach at Punta Cana. No distractions, just you and yourself.
Using your time wisely while you have it, can have major payoffs in the future. Incremental baby steps all the way! So the next time you are planning your vacation time, consider using it to not only relax, but to also take the opportunity to work on YOUR DREAMS and not just that of your employers.