Paid Time Off: Love it, don’t leave it!

Do you have paid time off (PTO) that you need to use before December 31st?

Most companies offer their employees PTO or a set amount of sick days. However, if you are not taking your sick days, personal days then you may be doing yourself a disservice.

This past May, Glassdoor released a study proving the average U.S. employee only used 54 percent of their paid time off in 2016, and 66 percent of Americans are working during their vacations.

While the Glassdoor poll wasn’t hard to believe, I decided to do my research. The results on my end weren’t far off. Many respondents ( mostly black women) don’t take time off because they tend to feel guilty, they don’t want to appear to be counterproductive, perceived as a slacker or they had anxieties around upsetting their boss.

PTO is allotted so employees can freely take the time for whatever they need. PTO is rewarding for both the employee and employer; it allows employees to return to work feeling more productive, creative, recharged and reenergized.

If you have days left at and need to make some last minute plans, here are some effortless yet productive ways to spend your days off.

Here are four ways to use your leftover PTO

Take a Staycation

A staycation a great way to enjoy your home and environment as well as an inexpensive alternative to traveling.

You can sleep in late for once, go to a local museum, catch up on a television series, see a show, or hang out with friends and family. Long story short, a staycation is a fancy term for spending your time-off at home. If you have children, I suggest you lock in a babysitter ASAP.

Complete Your Annual Doctor Visits

Never have time to go to the doctor for your annual visits? Doctor visits are a great way to start or get back to your regularly scheduled appointments. These regular visits are also there for early detection, so small problems don’t become large ones (also saving me money).

Regularly scheduling appointments will free up your time (you don’t have to call multiple times to try to get squeezed into someone’s schedule) alleviate stress, anxiety, and likely save you money over the long-term.

Start Your Passion Project

Do you have a fantastic idea locked up in your head for some time now? Do you make excuses for not having time to start your project or business? Use your PTO to bring your passion project to life! Go all in and stop overthinking it. Most people can get their passion projects off the ground with very little money and resources. I did! And I didn’t quit my day job.

Depending on how many days you have you can plan and execute promptly.

Do Nothing

Sometimes it’s ok to do nothing! There is a notion that we must be active to be productive otherwise we might be considered lazy. Stop, slow down and just do nothing to get back in touch with our true selves. Try it and let me know how it works out. That’s what I plan on doing with my PTO.

Don’t feel guilty for taking time off. Take time off, give yourself a break and live in the moment.


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