“Reclaiming my Time”


I recently came across an article in the New York Times written by Makiko Inoue and Megan Specia. It was about a young journalist in Japan named Miwa Sado. Ms. Sado often worked until midnight every night and rarely took off time on the weekends. As a result, she had earned approximately 159 hours of over time. Unfortunately at the tender age of 31, only a month later she died of congestive heart failure. This was a case of “Karoshi” a term they use in Japan that means “death from overworked”.

LISTEN to me! No job is worth your LIFE. If you are able to earn 159 hours of overtime in one month, you are working entirely too much. Most employers (not all) do not care about your overall health. They only care about what you can do for them. I repeat do not let your job kill you, it is not worth your life.

Lord forbid you were to die from “Karoshi” but if you do, your company will probably do these 4 things:

  • Send your family a sympathy card
  • Provide a bouquet of flowers


  • Shed some crocodile tears resulting in sniffles and a snotty nose
  • You will be replaced by Monday Morning


In America, if you are a full-time employee you should earn at least 2 weeks of vacation time. (I personally think we should have an entire month off, considering we work the entire year but I digress) Some companies offer the opportunity to earn additional overtime or allow you to purchase vacation time. Although the article above mentioned Japan, statistics show that Americans don’t use there allotted time. I hear people proudly proclaim, “I have 100 hours of sick and vacation time”. People do not be proud of this. Reclaim your time and start using what is rightfully yours.

Well, how do I reclaim my time? Glad you asked

1. Put in a request form for vacation ASAP before your co-workers. Don’t allow your job to deny your request because they are short staffed. I don’t want you to get fired but tell them,”sounds like a personal problem”.


2. Use time wisely. Plan a trip around the holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Labor Day, 4th of July etc. Now don’t get me wrong I love hanging out with my family but I also like a long vacation. If I had to choose between going to Bali or Aunt Susie for Thanksgiving? SSSHHH don’t tell my family but the traveler in me will be on a flight to Bali. The good thing about missing a holiday you won’t have to pretend like Aunt Betty’s new recipe for potato salad or answer the dreaded question about why you’re still not married at 30.


3. Plan a trip to your favorite destination. Choose a stay-cation, domestic or international destination. Have fun like Stella and get your groove back, take BAE along for the ride, or roll Solo. Have you always wanted to go to Dubai to see Mosques or go to Los Angles to see Hollywood walk of fame? Do it. I don’t care where you go as long as you are not at your place of employment.



4. While on vacation don’t you dare do anything work-related, (that includes checking your emails or answering work cell phone) Forward inbox messages to Auto Reply. Auto Reply Message: My Name is Tiffany and I will be unable to answer any questions because guess what “I’m reclaiming my time”. Please see my supervisor at your earliest convenience.



5. On vacation be adventurous. Try something you have never done before. Check off something on your bucket list. My bucket list includes parasailing and shark diving. What does your include??


6. Come back to work relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated. Your Co-workers will come to cubicle to tell you something about you looks different. Tell them, “you can look like me if you reclaim your time”. Trust me after the vacation you and your supervisor will be much happy with your new stress-free attitude.

How do you plan to reclaim your time??



  1. DAMN YO!!!! She died??? Poor thing! I hear ya. Between my full-time job and blogging, I was burning out. I decided to “reclaim my time” each night starting at 8pm. No computers, no phones, etc. Every other Tuesday, I treat myself to a nice manicure at my fave spa. Life’s little pleasures go a long way!

  2. I literally call working like this, the “slave” as I don’t believe I was made for these conditions. I am working more on my self-care. I am all about entrepreneurship. Thanks for sharing this!

  3. I’m slowly reclaiming my time. I have a babysitter on call and I use mainly for when I want to get out and have a good time with friends.

  4. My husband is guilty of this. I’m constantly reminding him that his job is not worth his life. You can’t help anyone else until you help yourself.

  5. When I left the corporate world it was with my mind, body, soul and spirit. I know way too many people who would work themselves to death. I was one of them. I resigned from my position as a business analyst because I found myself having chest pains at my desk. After that I was out of there AND moved out of state lol.

    • I’m so proud that you listened to your body after a while. Chest pains was a sure sign that something was indeed going on. I have never worked in the corporate but I’ve heard that is rigorous. Glad you were able to relocate with a renewed mind, body and soul.

  6. I tell people this all the time…you HAVE TO take time for yourself because if something happens to you, you will be replaced! So I take time away to really enjoy my family and friends…they can’t be replaced! But a job and blogging…unfortunately can!

    • Being replaced sounds so harsh but I believe in talking about the truth. People don’t realize that its important to have family, friend and most importantly time for your self. So true, the job will go on with or without you.

  7. I don’t mean that with family and friends but a job…yes! It’s the sad reality of life, people kill themselves working and that’s how they look at you. I’m a firm believer in giving your time to your job while you are on the clock after that enjoy your life!

  8. LOL, I was referring to a job as well. I agree, the 8 hours I have I need to give my all but after that you on your own .. Sometimes you have a union that can help if your are being overworked but that is not available on every job.

  9. I teach and we are treated so poorly for taking days that some at my job often come in sick so they “don’t look bad to parents and admin”. But as for me and my days…we are taking off. I can’t be great for your child if I am sick or stressed! Great reminder!

    • I can imagine as a teacher they only expect you to take summers and holidays off but of course you can get sick at any time. Why offer sick time, then become upset when you use it. Glad you take time when needed. So true If you cant be your best, you certainly cant be the best for others.

  10. It is rather amazing how any people actually brag about having so many vacation hours…It’s like, when do you breathe!? Let me stack two to three days and Im already planning a getaway! LOL

  11. What a terrible thing to happen! At 31 especially! I am a teacher, so I get to enjoy the summer but during the school year we work 12 hours straight easily, just focused on ways to get everything done and teach people’s children! That’s free over time! I am with you, I’ll go ahead and miss my family… While on a plane with my husband to a new destination!

    • Yes, it was super sad to read this story, but unfortunately this is a more common occurrence then it should be. As a teacher you get the luxury of summers of but I’m pretty there is burnout through the spring, winter and fall time. I’m glad you will get away and travel.

  12. Oh wow!!! This isn’t good. I know people like this. Work is the most important thing to them. We all need to support ourselves to live but sheesh we gotta have time away for rest and play.

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