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Most people throughout the country will take some time off around the holidays this year.
If you’re one of those people, you’ve got to make sure that you’re not squandering your precious time off.
Business Insider spoke with Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job” about the major mistakes professionals make while on break.
Here are some behaviors to avoid:
1. They stay completely connected to work
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Can you even call it a break if you’re working throughout your vacation time? “It takes a great deal of discipline to put work aside when a stream of emails comes through during a holiday break,” Taylor said. “But that will ultimately make you feel cheated out of your coveted vacation time.”
2. They don’t unwind
“Will you look back and feel robbed of relaxation or joy in your life?” Taylor asked Business Insider. “You may feel trapped by your work when everyone else is enjoying himself or herself. But you can also take a more empowering stance – and realize that only you are really in control of your thoughts and actions. You determine your day – and level of success.”
3. They feel guilty about rewarding themselves
“Never rewarding yourself or allowing time to smell the proverbial roses because of guilt is something you may come to regret,” Taylor said. “If your boss doesn’t react well to your taking time off, making it synonymous with a lack of dedication or loyalty, then this is your opportunity to manage up.”
4. They check in often
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John McClane in “Die Hard” was unable to leave work behind – but his was a special case. 20th Century Fox
Have some confidence in your colleagues. You’re most likely not going to come back to flames and ruin. “You may have heard a manager say, ‘I should leave more often,’ upon returning from a holiday break – because the team took needed risks or thought ‘out of the box,’ with great results,” said Taylor. “Contrary to what many think, the world won’t fall apart without them; and there can be positive outcomes.”
5. They do nothing
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Taylor notes that rest and relaxation are a necessary part of taking a break. However, there’s recuperation and then there’s full-on sloth. “Being lazy and not doing much of anything may make you feel unproductive or as if you squandered your precious time,” Taylor said. “Time is a non-renewable resource. Leverage this opportunity by having a proactive leisure wish list.”
6. They go overboard
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7. They ignore friends and family
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“Being a hermit is something you may later regret,” Taylor said. “Take advantage of the holidays and spread some cheer. It will likely enhance your own spirits.”