I was on a tight deadline for three projects yesterday. A client called to cancel an hour long session. At first, I said this was great because it gave me more time to work. Then I looked out the window and saw a sunny beautiful day. I put on my coat and took a walk for about half an hour. Could I have spent that time working? Sure. But I also know that in a month it will be a lot colder. In two months, I will probably be shoveling snow.
What’s my point? Take some time to do what makes you happy. Even with my break, I met all of my deadlines and still got to spend some time enjoying the sun. Plan your time well, and find a way to do something that makes you happy. Life’s too short to let it be all work and worry.
Huffington Post offers an interesting take on Americans’ attitude toward work and time off. 16% of people worked would trade 20% less pay for 20% less work. While this statistic is interesting, it reveals two big problems in our current work economy:
- So many people are living so close to the edge that they can’t even pretend to be to do this.
- Some people still have good jobs, or they could not answer the question in the affirmative. For a person making $50,000 a year, 20% is $10,000. Not many Americans could give that much up and still continue to live in their current manner.
The question is interesting. What it tells us about American workers is even more interesting: We’re overworked, underpaid, and highly stressed. America needs a raise.
Bryce Covert of Think Progress reports that Americans are failing to do something important: Take paid vacations. 15% take none of the time coming to them – 75% take only part of it. That’s a lot of compensation that is going back into the employers’ pockets. Covert adds that 60% of those surveyed say that they often do some work while on vacation. Paid time off is a type of compensation. When we don’t take that time or when we work while on vacation, it’s the same as working for free. Many of my friends and clients have told me that they don’t take time coming to them or work while on vacation because their companies are understaffed. “There is no else to do the work.” What that means is that it pays for companies to stay understaffed, which keeps them from paying for time off. It’s not quite wage theft, but it’s close.