Take a Little Off the Top

 

Happy New Year! Hopefully you are full of hope and promise for 2017!

Any resolutions? Here’s the top 10 from last year, according to statisticbrain.com:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Get organized
  3. Spend less, save more
  4. Enjoy life to the fullest
  5. Staying fit and healthy
  6. Learn something exciting
  7. Quit smoking
  8. Help others in their dreams
  9. Fall in love
  10. Spend more time with family

If more time with family and or loved ones is a priority, you’re in good company. According to Project Time Off, more than half of American workers (55%) left vacation time unused in 2015, totaling more than 658 million unused vacation days. While there are many reasons why this happened and continues to happen, I advocate there is a practical solution; take it off the top. Schedule your time off now. If your intention is to take it off the bottom, or schedule it later, there won’t be any time left over to take off. For those workaholics among us, there is documented value in time off.

Parkinson’s Law tells us that work expands to fill the time available for it’s completion. If you’re not protecting your time off in advance, your work will expand to consume it.

There is enormous value in how technology has connected our lives and certainly that applies to our calendars. That being said, there is also value in using a paper calendar. Get a highlighter and start marking off the days you’re going to take off.

Odds are, there are events (weddings, etc.) that need to be blocked off, so start with those dates. From there, block out the rest of your time off. Planning one quarter at a time is a great place to start and if you can look at the entire year, go for it. Click here for a blank downloadable calendar.

Can you think of anything else this applies to? Saving money of course! You’ve got to pay yourself first (save money), because if you’re in the habit of paying everyone else (paying bills) before you pay yourself, there won’t be any money left over. An automatic way of accomplishing this goal is to increase the contribution percentage for your retirement plan at work.

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