Did you know that the average American gets 11 days of paid vacation days per year? That's a fairly low number compared to other parts of the world like Europe, which on average offers workers 28 days of paid time off.
Given the scarcity of PTO in the U.S., it's understandable why many workers are feeling burnt out.
But unfortunately, a worker doesn't really have control over how many days they receive off. However, they do have control over which days they take off (assuming their boss approves it).
That said, one worker mapped out how to optimize his PTO for the year in a TikTok video. Let's see what he had to say.
This man shares a PTO hack in a TikTok video, but is it really a hack?
In the video below, John Liang, who operates under the TikTok handle @johnsfinancetips, explains which days he is taking off in the year 2023 to make his PTO feel longer.
John shares that he has a grand total of 15 days of PTO, which includes his sick days. But if he strategically picks which days he takes off, he is able to stretch it to have 40 days off.
"I'm going to start by taking off January 12th and 13th for five days here," he says, pointing to the calendar behind him, showing that the two days are attached to a weekend and another day off (presumably MLK Jr. Day).
Then he notes that he'll take off April 3–6 (which is sandwiched between weekends and other days off, presumably Good Friday and Easter) so he has nine consecutive days off. In the remainder of his video, he explains how he plans to use the rest of his PTO in 2023 by providing all the dates he plans to take off.
However, not everyone was impressed with John's method. "You still get the amount of days," wrote one user. Another said: "You're taking 15 days just around the holidays."
And others, who work in fields like healthcare, couldn't relate to John's post at all. "Cries in healthcare," said one person.
Videos like John's often pop up at the beginning of a new year. But his method only works if you don't have to work on the weekends or holidays. Furthermore, he's using his sick days as vacation days, which is a little risky in my opinion. I mean, what if you wake up one morning feeling awful but can't take off because you've already allotted your sick days elsewhere? Yikes!
In my experience, don't worry about which days you choose to take off. Instead, worry about making sure that you actually use your PTO.
As @taha_haha_ said in her viral video, "Use ALL of your PTO every year," adding, "No one cares that you worked instead of taking time off. You're just making your own life harder."
While it seems like this should all be common sense, a lot of people have been missing out on their PTO.
In fact, a report noted that in 2018 alone, a total of 768 million days of paid time off was left collectively unused by Americans in the workplace.
That's 768 million days of relaxation just blown out the window!
Bottom line: Don't be afraid to take time off.