Three Secrets to Take Time Off Work Without Feeling Guilty

Summer is finally here, and along with the high temperatures come the opportunity to take some much-deserved time off work. With so many canceled summer trips in 2020, you can finally justify taking some time off for a relaxing family vacation. While requesting PTO might be easy, doing so without feeling guilt is another story.

As someone who battles with guilt in every area of my life, taking time off work has always been a tricky matter for me. Of course, I want to spend time with my family, but not at the expense of letting anyone down at my job. Sound familiar? Below are three secrets to take time off work this summer without feeling guilty.

Complete major tasks  

The two weeks leading up to your vacation are a critical time at the office. Take this time to complete any major tasks that would be needed during your vacation. This allows you to check off some key items and feel better about not being available during your time off. While smaller tasks might come up while you’re gone, you can at least feel good that you got some of the bigger tasks out of the way.

Talk to your manager about the expectations for these major tasks. Sometimes, you’ll find that some deadlines can wait until you come back, releasing some of the stress you feel when rushing through these assignments.

Delegate your ongoing assignments

You might not be able to complete every task in the weeks leading up to your vacation, and that’s OK. For those items that have an upcoming deadline but you might not have time to complete, delegate them. Connect with someone on your team and come up with a plan to get them done. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to step up for a co-worker during a time of need.

If your company doesn’t already have a policies and procedures cheat sheet in place, this might be a great time to start one. This can come in handy when asking a coworker to complete a task they’ve never done before.

Set boundaries

Setting boundaries is critical when trying to take a guilt-free vacation. If you can’t fathom the idea of leaving your work phone and computer at home while you go away this summer, then plan to only check your messages at specific times. This helps avoid feeling work guilt and family guilt during your time off.

Try blocking 30 minutes before bed every night to check your work emails. If it’s nothing urgent, it can wait till you get back. If it is, come up with a plan to address the issue without compromising your vacation.