09/11/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Should You Be Using Your Vacation Days?

Feel like taking time off is frowned upon lately? Worried that those few precious days of relaxation will come back to haunt you? While it's true that managers and bosses may see your vacation as an extra heavy burden these days (more work for them while you're sucking down margaritas ocean side), it shouldn't stop you from taking the time off you've earned. After all, all work and no play takes its toll on productivity after a while -- and the results I've witnessed haven't been pretty. So go ahead and stick with your vacation plans -- just keep these conditions in mind.

Remain accessible. Can't wait to ditch the Blackberry and escape from the grip of The Man? Think again. This won't be the completely stress-free trip you'd imagined. You'll need to reinforce the impression that you're dedicated to this job -- even while away -- so don't think you can ignore emails and phone calls this time around.

Coordinate with your boss. To minimize your boss's stress while you're gone (what did this company ever do without you by the way?) discuss with him a vacation time-frame that would be most convenient.

Take a few days at a time. The two-week trip (or one-week for that matter) is out of the question. (Can you imagine the disaster you'd come back to?) Orchestrate your getaways around long weekends and you'll give your managers just enough time to remember why they should be paying you more.

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