Top Tips For Taking Personal Days Off From Work

We’re all pretty familiar with the concept of taking vacation time from our jobs and having to call in sick on occasions when we need to take sick leave. But there’s another type of time away from work that many companies offer and employees use these days, and it’s personal leave.

Taking a personal day can be an excellent opportunity to catch up on much-needed sleep and replenish some energy and enthusiasm so you return to the workplace ready to go again. However, it pays to follow a few tips when using these precious days throughout the year.

Plan in Advance

Firstly, work out the ins and outs of personal day policies at your firm well in advance of when you want a day off. Learn about the guidelines you need to follow and how much explanation you need to give your employers. Is there specific paperwork you need to fill in? Who do you have to contact to ask about taking your personal day?

You’ll want to know if you get a certain number of paid days off per year or if you can get the time away but don’t get paid for it and thus need to budget appropriately.

Give Employers Notice

It’s always a good idea to give your managers as much notice as possible about when you plan to take a personal day. Leaders need to ensure work gets completed to deadline and thus require notice to plan and allocate resources appropriately. Don’t lie about your intentions, as this can come back to bite you. Instead, be honest and upfront and communicate effectively.

The amount of notice you give depends on company guidelines and what your relationship is like with your boss, but typically the more warning you can give people, the better. Also, your manager may have to sign off on your personal day, so giving them proper notice increases your chances of getting approval for the date(s) you want.

If you’re new to your company and need to take a personal day for a mental health or other health-related reason that isn’t your typical cold, flu, migraine, stomach bug, or other sudden-onset illness, you might want to provide some documentation. It’s helpful to show that you’re not sick of work already after only being there a short time. It pays to have a doctor’s excuse for work that you can present to your boss to show that you’re having a medical procedure done or have some other private issue that needs attending to but doesn’t align with a typical sick day.

Don’t Take Days Off to Avoid Hard Work Tasks

A top tip for taking personal days is not doing so just because you want to avoid something hard at work that week. We all have challenges that crop up occasionally, but you don’t want to be known as the person in your workplace who shies away from them whenever you can.

If you’re dealing with an intense project, painful client, stressful meeting, or a deadline that has your brain running in circles, etc., it’s better to talk to your manager about it and look for solutions than run away from the problem. Avoiding interactions doesn’t teach you anything and can just leave you with wasted personal days.

Catch Up on Work Responsibilities First

Also, be responsible and do the right thing for your company by catching up on top work priorities before heading off on a personal day. Don’t leave the rest of your team or your boss in the lurch because you didn’t finish something important on deadline before becoming unavailable.

Similarly, always communicate where you’re up to on tasks or what needs doing next to other employees so that projects can continue being worked on while you’re off for a time.

Use the Days Wisely

If you’re going to take a personal day, make it count. Think in advance how you’ll use the day wisely, so you feel as refreshed and reenergized as possible when you return to the office. You might like to unwind by catching up with family or friends, exploring a new spot in your area, doing some exercise, spending time on a hobby, or watching a little Netflix.

Whatever works for you is fine but ensure you have thought your activities through and don’t end up feeling like you’ve wasted a day.

 Follow the above tips, and you should find getting the most out of your personal days possible, maintain solid relationships with your employers and coworkers, and come back to work feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and motivated to be even more productive.

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