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I just had to cancel my vacation again for work–but what choice do I have, really?

Q:  I just had to cancel my vacation again for work–but what choice do I have, really?

A:   Sadly, sometimes best laid vacation plans have to take a back seat to work. But here are some of your choices:  

  • Avoid scheduling vacation for year-end and other notably busy periods (like April for a tax lawyer) when last minute crunches are basically predictable. Then, grab some away time as a pleasant surprise if nothing comes up or you’re happily ahead of schedule. 
  • Take more long-weekend getaways than longer vacations, if that fits better with your work.
  • Embrace “staycations” so you don’t lose money cancelling travel and can even work a little during your time-off, if need be.
  • Make sure you are staying organized and have good technology so if something truly unexpected pops up, even over a long weekend or staycation, there may be a colleague who could and would cover for you while you stay connected to the extent needed.  
  • Know how to say no when absolutely necessary. That’s where good relationships with co-workers and clients (and even with judges) come in.  If you are truly about to lose your spouse’s patience, for example, if you miss one more vacation–having real rapport and great good will can hopefully provide the flexibility you need in an extreme situation.
  • Hopefully, you can also figure out ways to refresh and relax on an ongoing basis, without relying on a vacation to recharge.  Even taking a quick break every 90 minutes  is scientifically shown to help avoid burnout.  Read up on that and the mindfulness practices lawyers are now learning about–that’s not weird, it’s smart. 

All that said, hopefully you can squeeze in a real, change of scenery vacation once in a while. Don’t give up hope–but do purchase that travel insurance, in case best laid plans…