Should I go to work today? This is a question that every work-minded individual has asked themselves one way or another. The way modern-day work culture works, long hours of labor are often mistaken for diligence. As a result, the average worker is often tightly bound to the duties of the workplace, exerting their bodies and minds over time.
Maybe you are like the majority of hard-working employees, constantly stressed out. Maybe you are self-employed, but so consumed by your vocation that you cannot do much else. Maybe you are sick or tired or waylaid by any of the other forms of physical or mental exhaustion. As long as you have asked yourself, “Should I go to work today,” this article is for you.
In this article, we touch on the reasons why you should take the day off work. Also, we highlight a handful of excuses you may be obliged to give to observe a short holiday. We also mention excuses you are better off throwing aside. Lastly, this article touches on what you should do when your answer to “Should I go to work today” is no.
Why You May Take the Day Off Work & Not Feel Guilty About It
Illness is one of the biggest constants of human life. When you stretch your body beyond its limits, you tend to break or at least crack something inside. This is how physical aches come about: it is your body telling you to slow things down a bit. So, whenever you feel even a bit sick, you can take the day off without worrying too much about the guilt that creeps into your mind.
The entire field of occupational health was developed to make sure that individuals work in peak physical conditions. Getting back pain, fever, a stomach ache, or other symptoms of ill health that can blow up into something more life-threatening is not equal to a peak health condition. Therefore, since you won’t be able to work efficiently, why not take the day off?
There’s no denying that the average workplace is an oven for mental stress. And because there is no natural immunity from the pressures and tensions, you are not immune from mental exhaustion and nervous breakdowns. No matter how guilty you may feel that you are unloading your work on someone else by resting, it is all worth it
It used to be that as long as an individual was in top physical shape, they would have no excuse to take a break. Things are different now. Mental health is gradually taking center stage in the workplace as an area worth keeping an eye on. This is mostly because work-related stress is a genuine cause of workplace unproductivity. So, if you think that going to work will end up ruining your mental health and making you unproductive, best take the day.
Need for Refreshing and Spark for Productivity
Income and self-fulfillment are high on the list of why we work. A proverb of Chinese origin goes like this: birds die on the trail of food, and humans die on the trail of wealth. So, if the entire reason behind working is to be productive and you know that going to work on a particular day will not yield an acceptable level of productivity, stay home and rest.
A mental burnout can be very devastating, especially when you have high expectations of yourself. Holidays, on the other hand, serve as periods of leisure, where there is little expectation other than relaxation and recreation. So, if you can cool your engines a little by taking some time off work, this is acceptable. Otherwise, you will experience burnout after burnout and end up collapsing under the weight of unmet expectations.
Freedom and Choice
The last reason you should be able to take a day or two off work without feeling guilty is that you can. It is very easy to be consumed by something that puts food on your table. You may even begin to identify yourself solely based on what you do. However, there are many repercussions to having this mindset, chief among them being that your personality, what sets you apart from everybody else, will crumble.
Once in a while, therefore, take your mind off work and go on a short holiday. You don’t have to be sick. You don’t have to want to hide away from a toxic work environment. You just have to want to express your freedom of choice. A week out of the 52 weeks in a year should be the minimum for this break.
Good Excuses to Miss Work
You cannot tell your boss or staff that you are taking a breather simply because you can. That is setting yourself up for a disaster. Therefore, having determined the reasons for deciding to stay back home and take a break from work, here are noteworthy excuses you can give your employers or employees.
If you have determined that your answer to “Should I go to work today” is no, the simplest excuse you can give to an employer or employee is that you are sick. Although some bosses are likely to grumble, there is very little they can do to force you. After all, sick people are less efficient and more likely to make mistakes while working.
However, to use health challenges as your reason for a sudden time off, you may need a doctor’s note. This proves your reason to your employer/employee and protects you from claims that you are lazy. Also, after tabling this excuse, it will help to regularly update your employer/employee on the condition of things.
Family Emergencies and Home Accidents
Another solid and effective excuse to give to work supervisors and subordinates is that there is a family emergency or home accident. These accidents can take any form, from family members suddenly falling ill to fires breaking out in the backyard. One thing these emergencies and accidents have in common is that you are desperately needed at home, and therefore cannot come to work.
Scheduled Appointment Elsewhere
Having scheduled appointments somewhere else is another valid excuse to miss work. Usually, however, the strength of this excuse is determined by the nature of the appointment in question. If you have to meet the doctor on said day, your boss or client will certainly be more understanding. Of course, if the appointment is related to another job opportunity, well, your break may end up becoming permanent. So, take care to present evidence of a reasonable appointment before missing work.
Self-Determined Day Off
Determining to take a day off simply because you can or want to is the most difficult justification to defend to a boss, client, or subordinate. However, you can relate it such that this excuse even grants you extra merit. One way is to explain that taking a break would increase your productivity and cut down periods of low efficiency. With this excuse, you may even win yourself a few extra days of rest.
Excuses to Avoid When You Miss Work
If the previous excuses are likely to save you from trouble, the following excuses will certainly ruin your work life.
Work is Too Stressful
You absolutely cannot tell whoever you are working with that work is too stressful, therefore, you need a break. If you say this to a subordinate, you are giving room for laxity in the workplace. If you say this to your boss, you are just looking to be fired. If you are stressed out, say that you are worn out and need a few days off work to recover your strength.
Work Environment is Too Toxic
Another credible reason to stay away from work temporarily is toxicity in the workplace. In other words, you can reasonably take a breather if your workplace is toxic, emotionally draining, and full of elements that generate the same draining effects. However, you cannot present this as justification for taking a day off. Again, find a better way to construct this. The excuse about needing to refresh your mind (for increased productivity) will work.
Waning Interest in Work Routine
This is one of the worst excuses to give for taking a break from work. If you have decided to present a notice letter, find a different reason.
The only excuse worse compared to laziness is waning interest in your work. Both of these excuses can motivate your boss to fire you. So, unless you want to go through the rigors of learning how to write modern resumes, avoid this excuse.
Had Too Much to Drink the Night Before
Saying that you had too much to drink the night before is simply irresponsible. When you use this excuse, you are telling your boss that you are negligent and did not make preparations for your work day. Of course, giving this excuse to a subordinate is just as destructive to your image in the workplace. So, avoid it.
Lost Track of Time and Decided to Stay Back
This excuse may not be considered along the lines of irresponsibility and unreliability, but it is certainly unintelligent. If you somehow lose track of time, that is not enough reason to take the day off. Bosses know this, as do subordinates. The impression it gives is that of carelessness and insincerity.
You might as well say that a dog ate your time and you cannot find the nearest time station to stock up on time. See how confounding and insincere that appears? That’s what you would sound like if you say you cannot work because you lost track of time.
My Life is Falling Apart
With a work culture that is driven by goals and accomplishments, work days and workplaces can be very stressful. However, so can every other day and every other place, especially your home. As a result, your life may be falling apart with fractured relationships and gloomy introspections. Even so, unless you think your work is the reason your life is falling apart and you want to quit, you should never say that your life is falling apart and so you took a day off work.
The simple truth is that there are established work ethics, most of which revolve around honesty and integrity. But the workplace is seldom a friendly place, so using the excuse of an emotional crisis just shows you off as sentimental and/or weak. So, unless your boss is an understanding person, just say that you need time to recover mental energy and increase your productivity.
How to Effectively Take a Day Off
So, what if your answer to “Should I go to work today” is no because you hate your work but want to keep working? Here are a few tips for taking a day off and not having to worry about work during your break.
- Take a Breather: First, take a breather. In other words, take your hands off your office desk and just breathe. A successful break from work has to be deliberate. So, be deliberate about taking a break.
- Make Plans and Follow Through: Second, make plans on what to do and exclude everything related to work from these plans. Travel somewhere, read a book, or just sleep.
- Find Your Happy Place: The human mind is very powerful. So, taking a rest is not just about not working, it is also about letting the mind rest elsewhere. So, find your happy mental place.
- Reconsider Why You are Working in the First Place: If you must let your mind stray to work, make sure it is only to consider why you are working in the first place.
Should I go to work today? The answer to this is pretty straightforward. If you are not in full control of your body, mind, and choices, the answer should be no. As such, you must learn to take breaks from work.