Play Hooky, Be Happy: 3 Reasons to Shirk Work

We all have lots of work that needs doing. But that doesn’t mean it has to be done right here and now.

Technology is making it easier and easier to step away from your desk without falling behind at your job. So when life knocks, go ahead and push stuff aside. You can get back to it later.

Here are three reasons why you might want to take a page from Tom Sawyer’s book and play hooky.

1.     You have better things to do.

You remember the movie line: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Work takes up a lot of time; we’re talking over 90,000 hours by retirement. To put it in perspective, that’s more than 10 years of straight, nose-to-the-grindstone labor. In the shadow of numbers like those, you can’t be faulted for smelling the roses every so often. Work is important, but so is everything else in your life. When stuff unexpectedly comes up that you can’t miss (and when you can’t use vacation days), why not take some time back?

2.     You need a chance to recharge your batteries.

Does your job allow mental health days as valid reasons to take a sick day? More than likely the answer is no. So it’s time to be persuasive.

Many will simply tell a lie; in a recent CareerBuilder survey, 30 percent of people admit to faking it to get a day off. But that’s a morally bad way of going about things.

Instead, try the truth. You’re tired. You’re stressed. You’re unmotivated. Your boss should understand, and you should get the time off. If he or she doesn’t, you might want to think about looking for gainful employment elsewhere. Because when the work pressures pile up, that impromptu day of recovery can make all the difference. And it can even save the company money in the long run.

3.     You’re hitting a metaphorical wall in your work.

It isn’t easy being a productivity machine. Your job demands constant progress, more results and better ideas, but you’re already doing everything you can. That eureka moment eludes you. Your creativity is empty. If you’re digging in the same hole every day, you’re going to hit rock bottom eventually. So where to from here? Climb out and do something different for a time. Even if it’s just a few hours, taking your mind off work can lead to breakthroughs.

You’ll be skipping work in the name of work. Counterintuitive? Maybe. Counterproductive? Never.

All in a day’s leisure

If you’re still uncomfortable with the idea of playing hooky, then stick to your official vacation days. But the advice above stands. The more time off you take, the more rejuvenated you will feel and the more effective you will be.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got work to miss.

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