“In a recent survey from workforce consulting firm Right Management, 70 percent of employees said they weren’t using all their earned vacation days in 2011. In addition, research from Jet Blue Airways discovered most employees leave an average of 11 vacation days on the table, or 70 percent of their total allotted time off.” This may be dated research but I don’t know how greatly things have changed between then & now.
My hands would probably be the first ones in the air if in a crowd full of smart people; you’d ask the smartest ones to raise their hands. Yet, this is what I did on one fine Tuesday morning. I woke up with a sore throat and a mild headache. My first instinct was to stay in bed (which is everyone’s first instinct on a weekday morning) but I kicked that instinct out, put on some warm clothes and headed out to work. Less than 5 hours later, I had to take a cab home and dive straight back into bed only to be out of action for the next three days.
Why do we smart people do this? It isn’t like we can’t do the basic math. Yet, there’s something within us that leads us to underutilize the time off facility. I hate to break it to you but there isn’t an award for 100% attendance like in school (I don’t know if your school did but mine sure handed out glittering medals for never taking a day off).
You know this better than anyone else that not showing up to work when you are physically or mentally exhausted will not lead to the company shutting down. You’ve got to make a choice of whether you want to work 2 years or 2 decades. It isn’t a hard choice. So stop doing things that aren’t good for your body or mind. Take some time off. Your company will only thank you for it!