I was, once again, offered a full-time position in special education. I chuckled (because they know I don’t want a full-time job) and told the person, “You know I can’t play pickleball if I work full time.” A discussion about how fun pickleball is followed. I then asked, “Do you play?” Which was followed by a chuckle and the statement, “No, I work full time.”
While this conversation was all said with humor, the struggle of finding a good work-life balance is not always humorous.
Staying on the example of pickleball for a moment, I recently played with someone who hadn’t played in months. I had asked them to play numerous times. Although this person works part-time, I was always told they had to do this, or that, for work. The other day I asked if they could “come out and play” much as children do. Guess what, it worked! My friend left her unfinished work to get some exercise in the sunshine and fresh air. I was so proud of her! After a couple of hours, we both, reluctantly, decided we best get home and do the things we needed to get done. It was wonderful to hear my friend admit that she enjoyed herself and needed to get out more often.
This scenario doesn’t have to be about pickleball. It can be about any activity someone enjoys. However, the reality is we need to find a balance in our work and relaxation times. The saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, all play and no work makes Jack a mere toy,” may not be politically correct in today’s times (as it was initially coined in 1659, revised in 1825, and quoted in The Shining in 1977), but it is accurate.
Too much working and not enough “downtime” can lead to physical and mental exhaustion. It can also cause relational problems when other people’s needs for time with us are not adequately fulfilled. Of course, the flip side of that would be having too much downtime. People need to fulfill their responsibilities, especially if they are supposed to be contributing to living expenses and conditions. Not doing so can cause relational issues, as well as financial problems.
The defining line between work and leisure time will be different for each person, depending on their values and priorities. How can you discover the proper balance for yourself?
- Determine your priorities
- Set aside designated time for work AND leisure
- Leave work at work
There are many more minor things to do within these more significant categories, but these are the basics. It seems easy, right? It can be. If it isn’t, find someone (like a life coach) to help you figure out the best way to achieve your right balance. You, too, can #StressLess and #ChooseJoy.