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July 28, 2023

Unplug, Relax and Refresh During Your Paid Time Off (PTO)

Justin Hearty
Do you find yourself doing chores or completing overdue tasks during PTO? While these may be important, using PTO to destress and unwind is critical to your overall well-being.

Taking time off has many benefits, whether one day or an entire vacation. This article will discuss how to prepare beforehand, maximize it throughout the year, and a few ideas for spending your time.

How Can I Prepare Beforehand?

Align your priorities! Accomplishing this requires a discussion with your manager and team before taking PTO. Prioritizing will allow you to focus on the days leading up to your time off for a seamless transition. If any of your current projects require collaboration with other team members, prepare them for your time out of the office. Without proper planning and preparation, you are likely creating more work for yourself upon returning.

How Can I Maximize My Time Off?

It is essential to ask yourself what you are or are not willing to do during PTO, what constitutes an emergency, and what can wait until you return. Setting boundaries in advance with proper communication is the key to successful PTO.

With the boundaries mentioned, we can now discuss ways to get the most out of your individual PTO. Extending weekends or planning around different events is a good starting point. Try taking PTO closer to weekends, taking off either a Friday or Monday. Doing so can allow you to get more done, increase enjoyment, and refresh. The same can apply around Holidays. Look at the days the Holidays fall on and plan some PTO around it. Future preparation can allow for more time with family while extending your time off.

Keeping that in mind, we would be remiss not to mention vacations. They are an essential piece of maintaining your overall health. If you’ve been experiencing the burnout blues, taking a well-planned vacation may be the answer to your rejuvenation. They can largely contribute to enhanced mood, creativity, and well-being. One last point is that vacations can be something other than an extensive and jam-packed event. You can explore the surrounding areas and create life-long memories that invigorate and broaden your perspective. Visit a new city or neighboring states! A 3-4 day stay can be equally beneficial as a week or more extended vacation.

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Final Thoughts: Prepare ahead of time, set your boundaries, identify specific days to take PTO in conjunction with weekends or Holidays, and take a purposeful vacation! Find what works best for you and continue to evolve as you progress through life.

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