Taking Time Off Too Late

Years ago, I left a job that had been full of 90 hour weeks.

“I need a vacation.” I thought, when I turned in my badge.

A few days later, I was on the beach. The sun was drying the ocean off me, and there was nothing to do but read. It was perfect, but I hardly felt the sun.

Not the actual beach, but a nearby one from a previous trip to the same coast. I didn’t take many photos on my recovery trip.

I was still beat from those 90 hour weeks. My thoughts were still spinning on the problems I’d left behind. I felt better by the time I went home, but barely. Two empty weeks didn’t make up for the dozens of brutal ones I was recovering from.

My next job didn’t require 90s, but it still came with the stresses that any job does. It wore me back down pretty quick. After a month I wanted another vacation.

If you wait until you’re burned out to take time off, a vacation may only bring you barely back to normal. The next stressful thing will pull you right back down.

If you take time off before you burn out, a vacation can energize you beyond normal. It can pump you up with excess motivation that you can spend on your next project. Take vacations early so they lift you up instead of just patching you up.

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