5 Reasons You Need To Start Taking PTO


When asked to tell someone about yourself, you probably rattle off this list: Where you are from, what your family is like, and what kind of work you do. For most people, work is a consuming part of their lives. You may link your self-work to your job performance. You may spend more time at the office than you do at home.

While there is nothing inherently wrong with seeking success in your career, the pursuit can become all-consuming. Stepping away from work for paid time off (PTO) is sometimes necessary. Consider these five reasons you should start taking time off.

1. Work Fatigue

FlexJobs reports that up to three-quarters of employees experience burnout at some point. The World Health Organization defines this condition as “feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job, and reduced professional efficacy.” While these symptoms can point to a need for a job change, workers can often manage them by taking a holiday. Having a few unplugged days to relax can be just what you need to return to work with a refreshed, positive attitude. Taking a break from work can make you more productive and efficient when you return.

2. Physical Relaxation

If you have been wanting to install an affordable pool in your backyard but do not know when you would use it, that is your sign you are not taking enough PTO. Work can take a physical toll, and sometimes you need a break to rest your body. You do not have to go out of town for your holiday; instead, create a retreat at your own home. Unwind in your own space and reap the benefits that a week of no physical labor can bring.

3. Mental Health

In recent years, conversations about mental health are becoming commonplace. Stress, anxiety, and depression used to be taboo topics. Now, people are finding out how necessary it is to treat these symptoms the same way you would treat physical ones. If work negatively impacts your mental health, decide if taking some time off is the solution. You may find time away gives you the perspective you need to decide about your career moving forward. A mental break is just as important — if not more important — than a physical one.

4. Family Time

Jobs come and go, but families are forever. Sometimes providing for your family takes you away from spending valuable time with them. If you are not taking PTO as often as you should, you may miss opportunities to make memories. While you cannot be with your family all the time, you can make an effort to be there when it counts. Consider taking more time off to take a family trip once in a while. Life consists of much more than making as much money as possible.

5. Personal Growth

A well-rounded life should consist of more than a career. If you have not honed any skills or developed any hobbies, you may not be taking enough time off work. Paid leave from work can give you the freedom to explore interests that help you grow as a person. This pursuit can make you a better employee, as you can bring ideas and skills to the table. Relaxation is necessary while away from work, but you can also spend time cultivating other areas of your life. Perhaps you enjoy cooking or gardening; use your PTO to devote yourself to those pursuits.

Being good at your job is a worthy thing. However, work should not consume your life. If you have been putting your life (and PTO) on hold because you are too busy at work, it is time to take a step back and evaluate your priorities. When you finally take the plunge to take more time off work, you will find yourself renewed and refreshed. Spending time away from the office can improve every area of your life — even your work life.

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