On taking vacations
Vacations are important. At the U, we have a very generous vacation policy, and I encourage everyone to use your vacation wisely. Don't try to "save up" your vacation - use it. After all, studies tell us that taking a vacation can not only improve your mental health, but help you live longer as well.
For example, I'm planning some vacation time for myself later this year: in early May, I'm planning a trip to Michigan; in late May, to Madison. In the summer, I'm meeting with friends in Chicago.
At the same time, I ask that you plan ahead for your vacation. Discuss your vacation plans in advance with your teammates and your manager, so everyone knows when you will be gone, and for how long. It's very disruptive to everyone if you don't plan ahead, if you suddenly take a day's vacation because you would "lose" vacation time if you didn't.
Take a moment this week to look at your vacation balance, and plan a well-earned break.