The Only 3 Reasons You Need to Take That PTO

Sherry Morgan
Change Your Mind Change Your Life
5 min readAug 16, 2022
Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

I am not a Human Resource professional, and I don’t know all the rules around taking time off work, but these are the only reasons I need to take time off work. It took me years and my health becoming at risk to realize that I needed to take some Paid Time Off. I used to feel like I was taking advantage of my company for taking time off work. My time off work requests have been denied, and often the ability to take time off was based on someone else’s schedule and not my own. Finally, as I have grown older and realized how important it is to take time off from work, I have never looked back.

Your Health…

Our health should honestly be our only reason. Listen to me closely and take paid time off because our health depends on it! Many employers may dislike my following statement because it may seem like they don’t care, which is not the case. Employers are businesses that need workers to push out their products and services. It is a fact. If an employee were to drop dead, they would replace that person immediately, if not immediately. I will say that again. If someone dies, they will replace them. Simple as that. It is a business move. Regardless of how sad they are to have lost an excellent employee and friend, that position left behind must be filled.

I am saying, don’t kill yourself over a company that will replace you if you die. That doesn’t mean we don’t work hard for that company, and it doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy our work. I mean that we should not kill ourselves for a job. Take breaks, go on vacation and protect your mental health by all means necessary. The key here is don’t stay in a toxic environment at the cost of your health and don’t create one by not taking breaks. Take the time for mental health days, vacation with family and friends, and take that European cruise now. Please don’t wait for retirement because it is a scam. Travel now. The most significant fix to living in the present is saving for retirement and, traveling now, spending time with your children. Paid time off was created for all the “now” moments we should have.

Focus on the things that matter. I am sorry to disappoint you. In my opinion, work is only in the top ten things that matter most to me, and it isn’t even in the top five. I need work because I have bills to pay and a career I want to build. Take care of myself by listening to my body and by checking in with my mind.

Your Career…

Burnout is real. It comes in all forms and in various areas of our lives, especially in the workplace. I have learned that burnout will take the joy and excitement out of our work, which is terrible for our careers.

A philosophy says, “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” If you are one of those people who genuinely enjoy your work but are feeling a little burnout lately, it could be that you need to take days off.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

I once enjoyed my job. I used to work with children, and for a long time, it was exciting, and I truly enjoyed working with them. It gave me life to know that I was passing along some knowledge or making a child feel seen or wanted. I was teaching them how to create something through arts and crafts. Even making slime a million times never got old seeing their faces light up each time. Who knew glue, contact solution, and food coloring could bring so much joy, but it did.

However, I never took enough time off, it would either get denied, or I got to a point where I had so many responsibilities that there was never anyone to pass them along. If I took time off, the work would pile up and wait for me to return, decisions wouldn’t be made, and reports and deadlines were often missed.

I got burnt out and left that profession for a new one. This time, my goal is to listen to my body, reevaluate my work schedule and work that PTO into it because this is the only way to advance your career. We can work so much better when we have had an opportunity to take breaks and disconnect from our sometimes mundane work environment. You will find that you have fresh ideas and a new perspective when you return to work.

And Because You Can

Finally, you don’t need permission to take PTO! We may require approval, but we are right to take PTO because we earned it. If you work for any company, you have to make PTO by showing up to work. If you are employed and show up fairly regularly, then each paycheck, you should be earning some amount of PTO.

Where I work is based on the years you have worked. You accumulate a certain amount each pay cycle. It is the only way to get Paid Time Off. You paid for that time off by working and perhaps reminding your employer respectfully that they aren’t giving these hours away for free. Some employers sometimes have a “use it or lose it” policy. You can lose precious vacation hours if you do not use the hours by a particular date. Some employers cap how much vacation time you can accrue, so if you needed just one more reason to take that PTO, this is it.

Photo by PAN XIAOZHEN on Unsplash

You work hard. You earned it, so take it. PTO is precious time that you cannot truly get back. Time is not to be wasted but used to the fullest.

Thanks for reading!

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Sherry Morgan
Change Your Mind Change Your Life

Mental Health. Anxiety. Personal Growth. Writer for Motivate the Mind, The Orange Journal and Change Your Mind Change Your Life