If you've been hoarding your annual leave because it just hasn't been a "good time" to get away from the office, stop. The truth is most of our jobs are busy and hectic enough that there's never a good time, so think instead about the accommodations you can make so you can slip away to recharge.
If you're starting to show the traditional signs of burnout at work, it's time to get away. You may already have leave accrued, but it can be tricky to schedule some time away from your desk if you feel like the work just won't let up long enough for you to leave. Over at On Careers, Alison Green reminds us that if you're not busy at work, something's probably wrong -- which means you should stop waiting for a non-busy time to take your holidays:
The nature of many jobs is that there will never be an easy time to take time off, no matter how well you plan for it in advance. But that's no reason to not go at all. It's in your employer's best interests to have well-rested and recharged employees, and vacation time is a benefit that you've earned, just like salary, so you should use it. So instead of waiting for the perfect time — which may never come along — decide that you will use your vacation time this year, and make the question one of what accommodations should be made, rather than whether accommodations can be made.
If your boss baulks at the notion of you taking a few days off, don't be surprised, especially if you've been busy lately. Instead, change the conversation from "you can't leave now!" to "when can I leave, and what should I do to make it easier for you while I'm gone". You may have to brief some of your coworkers on the projects you're working on, or inform the people you're working with that you'll be unavailable for a while, but it should be doable. As the article mentions, holidays are part of your compensation, and you wouldn't leave cash sitting on the table just because things were hectic, would you?
Of course, some jobs have defined "busy" and "slow" periods. If yours does, you'd do better aiming for a slow period (but then you have to fight everyone else for time off too). Still, that shouldn't make taking holidays impossible. Hit the link below for some more tips on making sure you get that time off.
How to Take Time Off from a Hectic Job [On Careers]
Picture: Tim Hyde/Flickr