June 30, 2016 8:20 AM EDT

One thing Americans are terrible at: using their time off. The average U.S. worker takes a week less vacation now than in 2000, and 55% of workers decline to use all the paid time off their jobs offer. One way to ensure you don’t leave days on the table? Plan out your vacations in January.

This appears in the July 11, 2016 issue of TIME.

Contact us at letters@time.com.

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