Chris Carmichael Blog: Playing Hooky

This week I took a day off.

I know that doesn’t sound all that exciting, but it’s been a while since I’ve truly taken a complete day off. I didn’t call anyone who works for CTS. I didn’t spend any time on emails. I stepped away from my business entirely for a day. And you know what? The place didn’t burn down.

I’m kidding, of course. I am fortunate to have a great team and I’ve never been more confident in their abilities. Even so, I’m not as good as I should be about taking true time off, which is not the same thing as a day at home where I spend a only a few hours corresponding via email and phone. And I’m not alone. A lot of managers, executives, and CEOs I meet wrestle with the decision to use their vacation days or paid-time-off. Every year, workers in the US forfeit tens of billions of dollars worth of paid vacation time; estimates reached a staggering $67 billion dollars at the height (or depth) of the recession in 2010. According to CNN Money, that number was cut in half – to $34 billion dollars – in 2011.

Here’s what I propose: Let’s see if we can cut that number in half again in 2012. Take your PTO, use your vacation days – even if you don’t go anywhere. Now, I realize that we (you, me, and the rest of the people who read these emails) can’t make a big dent in that number all by ourselves. But we can certainly do our part and encourage the people around us to do the same. Why? Because (with a few notable exceptions) the world isn’t going to end and your business isn’t going to fail if you take the 3-5 days of vacation time you would otherwise leave on the table this year.

Actually, let’s up the ante and make it a dare: Take at least one day off in the next two weeks. Just do it. Pull the trigger on a long weekend. Play hooky on an unusually warm spring day. But don’t think too hard about it, don’t get too elaborate, don’t take the fun out of it.  

What did I do? I took a long time eating breakfast and reading the news in the sun on my back porch. I rode my bike and took a nap, then spent the afternoon with my kids once they got home from school. It was a low-key day, and it was wonderful. At the office the next day, I had one of the most productive and positive workdays of the past few months.

I’d forgotten how rejuvenating a simple day off can be, so I’m reminding you because maybe you’ve forgotten as well.


Featured Content

Spring Break for Cyclists: Column I wrote for Bicycling Magazine about creating an endurance block with minimal interruption to your daily life.

Trans Andes Video: Check out some of the action from the 2012 Trans Andes Challenge!

Featured Links

SRAM Gold Rusch Tour: Join CTS Athlete Ambassador Rebecca Rusch for these free events!

CTS Climbing Camps: Because no matter where you are now, we can help you go uphill faster.

USA Pro Challenge Race Experience: If you’re up for the challenge, we have a few spots left on the team.

MyTimeLine: Coaching packages featuring reduced-cost months for increased flexibility!

2012 La Ruta: Race the 2012 La Ruta de los Conquistadores. 3 packages to choose from!

Have a Great Weekend,

Chris Carmichael
CEO/Head Coach
Carmichael Training Systems

One Response to “Chris Carmichael Blog: Playing Hooky”

  1. Angela on

    For this to be truly a success in Europe it shloud have a decent 2l diesel engine (that will account for more than half of the sales) and two v6 3l diesel and gasoline engines for the halo effect (the 3.6 won’t sale because of the insane taxes most European countries have for engines over 3l).


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