27.5 hours

Published on Sep 16, 2020

I ran a report from my company's billing system today and discovered a frightening statistic. It's 9/16, and since 1/1/20 I have only taken 27.5 hours of paid time off (PTO) and 16 of those hours were Jan 2nd and 3rd. Yikes.

I've always tended toward being a "workaholic." I was the guy grumbling about the people who were always on vacation instead of taking vacations myself. 

There are some people who have jobs that do not offer PTO. If they take time off work, they do not get paid. There is a much larger number of people with full-time jobs who have some form of PTO, which allows them to take time off from work and still be paid. This is the type of job I had before becoming a consultant. 

Once I became a consultant six years ago, the compensation structure fully incentivized work instead of non-work. I have a base salary and then additional bonus compensation based on billable hours. The more hours I bill, the more bonus I get paid. Obviously, if I take PTO then I'm not billing hours and I get paid less.

While this may be a recipe for making money, it's not a recipe for good mental health. It's time for a break.