AS winter draws to its slushy close and the piles of snow outside your window turn dirty gray, sunny getaways start to seem almost unbearably tempting. Your daydreams fill with visions of islands rimmed by long, sandy beaches, or that adventure trip to Costa Rica, or the Disneyland trip you promised the kids.

But then your manager, whose last vacation was 10 months ago, walks by. A minute later, you glance at that project on the corner of your desk and remember that it absolutely has to be finished yesterday. So you take a deep breath, decide to settle for a long weekend this spring and promise yourself that you will take a nice break in the summer. Really.