Are you the workaholic each of us knows? You know the one. They check their email from the time they wake up, to when they are at lunch with you (please remember this is rude when we are able to dine together again), to when they go to sleep. For some, it’s an easy pattern to fall into. Now that many of us are working from home, it’s easier because there is even less separation between work and home.
Work/life balance is difficult in normal times, but we aren’t in normal times. The blur between work and home has never been so apparent for most people. In my home, my wife is working in one room, I am working from another, and our children are doing some online schooling and a lot of time wasting in the same spaces. Things change when your commute is walking across your home. It makes it infinitely more difficult to separate work and family. At the same time, I feel lucky I have the ability to work from home and be employed when so many people have lost their livelihoods.
I would like to tell you I am good at separating and there are bright lines for work and family time. I consider myself a work in progress. Sometimes I am better at it that others. It’s hard enough when you are at home and can always check work email or receive calls. Now, I can sit down at what currently serves as my office twenty-four seven. This is great for my clients, but no so much for my family.
It is no secret that hard work is required for success. And there are times you must work harder than others and longer hours. Getting ahead does not come easy. But, as important as giving your all for your career or business, there has to be down time too, and I don’t mean sleep.
At all times, let alone when you are stuck in your home, you need to remember what you like to do for fun. We all need stress release. If you have to even think about the answer to what you like to do for fun or to relieve stress, you need to rethink your priorities and come up with a plan. Working hard until you die ends the same if you had instead taken more time for fun and stress relief. It’s important to draw a line in the sand and come up with strategies that will work for you to step away from work, enjoy time with your family and lower your stress. It’s easy to Google what most people regret as they near the end of life, and it usually related to having worked too much when they finally have realized that life is short.
If you question what I am saying about stress relief, talk to your doctor. For me, fun and stress relief includes physical activity. You should try to include physical activity in your routine. Your body and brain will thank you for it, especially as you age.
As for fun, it really is a requirement too. It could be sewing or playing an instrument, travelling, participating in a book club, etc. or a combination of many things. But you need to find things you enjoy that are wholly unrelated to work. Without doing so, you will have no balance and the odds of burnout or something worse increase exponentially. Don’t let this be you. Try to find balance and understand it always is a work in progress.