A lot of people always remark that they need a holiday, that a weekend is never enough for them to recharge and replenish their energy. However, there are also a lot of people who don't make the most of the vacation time to which they are entitled. A survey by Expedia released in late 2011 revealed that Americans only take 12 out of their 14 vacation days. It might seem like 12 days is enough, but that's two extra days of rest and enjoyment that you're missing out on. So think back on the last year and on how many vacation days you took. Did you get to use all of them? If not, why not?
Workplaces tend to be stressful and competitive, which is why it would make sense for us to go on vacation. However, that also results in us being unable to leave the office and take a couple of days for ourselves. We don't want to be seen as slackers, and you can just bet that there are people who'll judge you for going on vacation when there are so many things to do at work. Some people feel like they can't afford to go on vacation because there are a lot of projects to finish, and others feel like they can't afford a vacation, period. Others also feel guilty for going away and feeling like they're temporarily palming off their responsibilities to other people.
Any performance coaching specialist will tell you that breaks and vacations are important for you to be able to perform at your best as a professional. It gives you time away from your work and lets you come back with fresh perspective and renewed energy to handle your tasks.
So how can you keep from feeling guilty about going on vacation? You start by making sure that everything you need to do has been completed. This keeps you from having to pass some of your work to other people. You should also tell any clients you are directly dealing with that you will be away and unreachable, letting them know that you will handle any of their issues once you get back to work (not when you arrive home!). If you've done everything correctly and on time, you would not need to pay attention to any of your coworkers who are resentful of the brief time away you're taking. Remember to schedule your vacation ahead of time, so work schedules and projects can be coordinated and completed and you won't need to feel stressed out in the days before you leave.
Vacations aren't something that you should put off. If you're undergoing coaching, even your coach will let you know how vacations boost productivity. Rather than worry about how your vacation will negatively impact your career, pay attention to how it actually improves it. All you have left to do is to resist checking your e-mail throughout your holiday and enjoy the few days of freedom you have rightfully earned.