Do You Know about this Organization: Take Back Your Time? You Should!

Take Back Your Time


Happy New Year

Here’s to a year filled with more time!

We at Take Back Your Time hope your holiday season was filled with joy…and time. 2015 was a great rebuilding year for us after a fairly long quiescent period. With the help of our partner, Diamond Resorts International ® we accomplished a lot last year!

  • We got our monthly newsletter going again
  • Re-vamped our website
  • Cultivated a stronger presence on social media—Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.
  • Started Did You Know? and Gift of Time campaigns
  • Joined with Diamond for a National Vacation Summit
  • We were cited in numerous national media
  • Held a number of Take Back Your Time Day events, and
  • Developed a new strategic and fundraising plan.

2015 was a banner year, and we plan on making 2016 even more memorable.

This month, we’ve started to work with a marketing class at Seattle University around a new campaign to promote vacation time among employers and employees. Our Seattle team of Ritzy Ryciak, Steve Nesich, Rachael Lewis and John de Graaf is excited about what’s coming next. Here’s a quick look:


Fundraising. Our end of year fundraising drive has so far netted $2400 from 35 donors (less than one percent of our membership). We want to thank all of you who gave — three donors sent us $250 each. It means a lot, but we are far short of where we need to be. Please consider a donation. We didn’t want to do multiple asks at the end of the year, because we suspect you get way too many of those at that time already. But now that it’s a New Year, please give generously. Instead of less than one percent of our members donating to us, let’s get it up to ten or twenty! If you contribute $50 or more, we’ll send you a free DVD of John de Graaf’s new documentary,The Great Vacation Squeeze—see below.


Survey. We conducted a survey which resulted in completed questionnaires from 144 of our members, about 3 percent of our total membership. That’s not enough so we are going to put the survey out again. Nonetheless, we learned quite a bit from our first responses.

What Take Back Your Time issues do you value most?


Ninety percent of those who completed the survey agree with our priority of encouraging more vacation time for Americans. Many of you have told us you’d like to write for us or write letters to your local newspapers and other publications. We’d like that very much!


Conference. Interestingly, by far the highest percentage of you, when asked how you’d like to be directly involved with Take Back Your Time, told us you’d like to attend a national conference. So we’re taking you up on that. We held national conferences in 2004 in Chicago and 2005 in Seattle, plus a National Vacation Summit in Seattle in 2009, in addition to our involvement with the 2015 Vacation Commitment Summit in New York. We were also a partner in creating a national Happiness Summit in Seattle in 2012. Now, we want to do it again. Here’s what we’re thinking:

We are looking at possible dates for a National Take Back Your Time conference at Seattle University this coming August. The conference will happen right around the actual 100th Anniversary of the United States National Park system. The Park Service was officially founded on August 25, 1916. So, right now our plan is to start with a Thursday all-day pre-conference field trip to spectacular Mt. Rainier National Park, about two hours from Seattle, followed by a conference welcoming reception that evening. The conference itself, including plenaries and workshops, would take place on Friday and Saturday. The conference will be about both ideas and activism, with a strong effort to engage you, the attendees, in strategy sessions about building a real work-leisure balance movement in America.

Holding the conference at Seattle University, with its combination of affordable facilities and food and lodging opportunities, will allow us to keep the cost of the conference low. If you really do want to attend, as so many of you have told us, please think about coming. We should have the date finalized within the month. If you can, plan to spend a couple of days in the area either before or after the conference — Seattle in August is an amazing place for a vacation, with lots of activities in the city and great recreational opportunities at nearby beaches, lakes and mountains. The weather at that time of year is grand, the snow is gone from the high peaks, and the meadows are ablaze with beautiful wildflowers! And, Seattle is easy to reach from most metropolitan airports in the U.S.


Time for Parks. Part of the conference will focus on our one of our campaigns for 2016, Time for Parks, designed to coincide with the National Parks centennial but also to emphasize the value of local and regional parks, and especially, the fact that we need time to visit these wonderful places that far-sighted earlier generations of Americans have bequeathed to us. When the average visit to the Grand Canyon is two hours and to Yosemite, five, there’s no real time to appreciate the wonders of nature. We need more vacation time to make that possible. We want to partner with any organizations that care about parks and time and nature, families, health and play. More on this campaign soon!

Great Vacation Squeeze. Finally, John de Graaf’s documentary film, The Great Vacation Squeeze, will premier on PBS stations this coming spring. Photographed in part in Yosemite, it’s a celebration of parks as well as a call for more vacation time. Be sure to inquire about whether your local PBS channel will be showing it!

Thanks for all you do to make a better world.

John de Graaf

As usual, time issues were front and center in the media, and Affluenzamade resurgence s well :


You Don’t Need More Free Time

Less Work, More Leisure

Why Do Americans Work So Much?


We Need Interns!

We’re especially looking for college students interested in the following:

  • Helping us develop marketing ideas for our social media channels
  • Developing visual TBYT materials for FB, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.
  • Writing research papers about the need for more time, especially vacation time
  • Conducting research studies on the health and other values of more time off
  • Develop conference workshops/papers about experiments in shorter work-time and longer vacations—their impacts, positive and negative
  • Writing for our newsletter/website

Independent studies are also welcome. If you’re a faculty member, please let students know about these opportunities. At this point, our internships are unpaid, but provide valuable materials for students’ portfolios and a great opportunity to make a difference. Contact John de Graaf at: jodg


SPECIAL OFFER! We’d love to send you a DVD of The Great Vacation Squeeze. Contribute $50 or more to Take Back Your Time, and we’ll send you a DVD to show to friends, family and neighbors! DONATE!

2016 Policy ChangeIn 2015 we were delighted to see a new focus on time issues like family leave and sick days, with many cities passing sick day legislation and President Obama calling for both family leave and sick leave. We are also supportive of a recent call to the make Election Day 2016, a holiday — something Take Back Your Time has advocated for every election since 2003.

While we are non-partisan and do not endorse political candidates, we agree with Senator Bernie Sanders’ comment that, “People can not be truly free when they work exhaustingly long hours.” Sanders has introduced a two-week paid vacation bill in the U.S. Senate. Amen to that!

Help Make History!

This year, we will again be supporting paid vacation legislation in the Washington legislature and will be trying to promote a bill requiring paid vacation time in the Seattle City Council as well. We’d love to see a little friendly competition between cities in the US to see which can be the first to pass vacation legislation. The city that does will get tons of media attention and attract many talented young workers who believe that leisure time should be a part of their employment contracts. If you want to make your city the first to pass vacation legislation, contact John at jodg. We can send you information and a link to the Washington vacation bill, which is a good template for any possible legislation. Get involved!

Copyright © *|2015|* *|Take Back Your Time|*, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in at our website.Our mailing address is:

Take Back Your Time

P.O. Box 9596

Seattle, WA 98109



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