Help! Should I Hoard My Vacation Hours?

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Pricey OOO,

I am not able to journey but. And it appears foolish to make use of my hard-earned trip time once I’m simply sitting at house. I may simply hold working whereas saving my free days for a blowout journey later this yr. However I am drained, and I actually really feel like I want a break. What ought to I do?

–Portland, Oregon

That is the best query I’ve ever answered: USE YOUR DAMN VACATION TIME. USE IT NOW.

Do you actually need extra convincing? [Dramatic sigh] OK, let’s do that.

Being in Tokyo or Santorini or wherever that blowout future journey takes you sounds dreamy. It’s been so lengthy that I actually can’t summon the sensation—one among my favourite emotions on the earth—of sitting in a distinct nation, listening to a language I don’t converse whereas consuming one thing scrumptious and observing buildings and bushes very completely different from what I’m used to. So I absolutely perceive the temptation to not “waste” days on one thing much less thrilling.

And it’s robust responsible you for not feeling able to journey, even when you’re absolutely vaccinated. Many nations have but to reopen their borders to People, and the ethics of non-essential journey to locations that may have strapped well being care programs and decrease vaccination charges are difficult. For the primary time in a yr and a half, I’m flying in a few weeks to see a sick member of the family who lives throughout the nation, however I’m with you on wanting to attend longer to fly internationally for an elective trip.

And but! This yr has been all however insufferable even for the luckiest of us, and dealing nonstop goes to destroy you if it hasn’t already. You’ve received to take a while, even when it means sacrificing a extra enjoyable journey later. You don’t want a break since you’re weak, you want a break since you’re a human residing by way of a dystopian time in historical past.

As a result of your query signifies concern in your fellow people, I’m going to imagine you’re both absolutely vaccinated or will probably be quickly. (For those who’re not, what are you ready for?) I can’t resolve your private threat tolerance for you, however when you’ve taken your shot(s) and waited two weeks, may I recommend that you’ve got a number of extra choices than sitting at house? Are you able to lease a cabin within the woods or go tenting? Can you’re taking a staycation and spend hours on daily basis strolling round Portland, a implausible metropolis with unbelievable meals vans the place you’ll be able to order whereas sporting a masks after which discover an remoted spot to sit down? Are you able to house-swap with a pal who lives inside driving distance, simply to shake it up? Even when none of these issues feels doable or interesting, there should be methods you’ll be able to combine up your property routine—fancy supply meals! sheet masks! novels you’ve been laying aside!—so the times don’t all really feel the identical. Spending time outdoors, whether or not masked or not, has been key to my sanity lately; 10/10, extremely advocate.

Trip time can really feel like a treasured useful resource that should be hoarded for the one excellent journey, however I’d encourage you to consider it extra as gasoline in your tank—it is advisable to replenish each every now and then to have the ability to hold going. Perhaps which means you gained’t have sufficient free days for a blowout journey this yr, however you additionally gained’t burn out this yr, which is an accomplishment. So please take a while, whether or not you’ll be able to escape your property or not. Ship me a postcard from the yard.

Pricey OOO,

I get work messages coming at me from so many instructions: Slack, electronic mail, Google Docs, Sign, textual content. I by no means know the place to look first! Is there any option to cease the insanity, or at the very least arrange a hierarchy so we are able to all get on board with the Message Urgency Phases of Significance?

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