"Work hard, play hard". An everyday phrase we hear and yet how many of us truly do both? Where we are meant to balance these two endeavors, the scales are often uneven, often resulting in more work, less play.
Between keeping up with projects and managing our personal lives, we tend to live life feeling busy. When deep in the pursuit of our goals it is easy to overexert and overcompensate toward work, neglecting what makes us human: pleasure.
Balance Brings Happiness
Today’s work culture has led us to believe that there is a badge of honor in working non-stop, and that only workaholics are rewarded. But understand that ambition can also be toxic to our lives. Relentless hustling and productivity does not always drive us forward. Whenever you say “yes” to something, you are always saying “no” to something else. You can work those extra hours over the weekend, but you will miss out on socializing and creating memories with friends. Sacrifices are a guarantee in life, but moderation is how we can assure balance and create happiness for ourselves.
Rest to Work, Not Work to Rest
Believe it or not, rest is a critical ingredient to productivity, and it is often overlooked, especially in the face of tall goals and nearing deadlines. There are many benefits to isolated downtime, and by taking breaks we are then able to become better producers and creators of our craft. The necessary time away or time off can ease stress and prevent burnout, allowing us to tackle work even stronger upon our return. By placing equal value and time to rest as we do work, we can build our lives holistically and improve in all areas of our lives; breaking free from the common tunnel-vision we fall prey to when busy.
Consider Actively Resting
It is easy to think that since we are note working in the moment that it counts as rest, however this is mostly a passive approach to resting. Consider actively resting, where you are more intentional and deliberate with your free time. For example, refrain from simply thinking about logging off your computer, but plan and schedule time for leisure (whatever that might be) such as a walk in your neighborhood or an appointment with a massage therapist. Plan your leisure with the same emphasis as you would plan a meeting for work.
So, the next time you decide to relax and unwind from work, or simply want to have fun – ask yourself: "how hard have I rested lately?"