We have been looking at the bright side of things that bother us.  Many of you may be questioning what could be wrong about time off.  Why would an episode on the benefits of time off be needed?  Let’s step back and think about that question.  We get into a rhythm with our work.  Even if we do not enjoy it, we typically get used to it.  As better developers, we even enjoy that in most cases.  We also have a pile of work when we return from vacation.  Those factors add up to many of us deciding it is better to trade vacation days for cash.  We are not able to enjoy or benefit from that time away.

Refresh And Rejuvenate

A real vacation allows us to relax, recharge, and generally rest from our daily grind.  These results do not come from a three-day weekend.  We need to spend more consecutive time in order to get the benefits of time off.  You may argue that you can get more than enough sleep on a long weekend.  However, that is not the rest I am talking about.  Our minds need to spend some time without churning through our latest challenge.  A vacation provides an opportunity for that.  Think of it as physical workouts where you take a day or two off for your body to heal and grow.

Work On The Bucket List

No one wants to spend life solely working.  No matter what our “why” is, it is not going to be trudging your way through each day with no real accomplishments.  Whether a dream or a reachable goal, we all have some sort of bucket list.  These are places we want to go, things to do, even people to meet.  The point is to do some things that usually work blocks us from doing.  These are the proverbial “smell the roses” activities that make for a full life.  At the end of our days, a full life is the indicator of a life well-lived.

A Retirement Trial Run

Retirement is something we all think about almost as soon as we start into our careers.  However, a lifetime of building up a work habit can be hard to break.  We need to have a plan for retirement, just like any other significant project.  That brings up the last of our benefits of time off.  We are provided an opportunity to try out life without work.  We may not be able to test out ideas we have for retirement thoroughly, but we can at least get a taste of them.

Episode Challenge: When was your last real vacation?  Do you need to schedule one?

Read more about advancing your career.

Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a lifetime learner as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is the founder of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences and a few about becoming a better developer. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although they have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax or working on his ballroom dance skills.

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