Survey the world’s leaders and entrepreneurs about how they approach leisure time and you’re sure to get one of two responses. It’s either a luxury you should try and fit in when you can, but never at the expense of your work. Or it’s a necessity that is your very reason for getting out of bed in the morning. There’s really no right or wrong answer as it’s a personal choice. Let’s take a look at the merits of each so that you can decide how to strike the right balance for you.
You Are What You Repeatedly Do
This old maxim is as true today as it was when it was first written down in the days of ancient Greece. If you want to be a leader in your field then you need to put the work in which will inevitably mean sacrificing other things. This is not to say that to be successful in business you need to forego a social life and family holidays, but some degree of compromise will need to happen if you are to give your career your all. The converse is true if you’re someone who lives for their hobbies. You may have a real passion for running for example. This might require you to put in numerous multiple hour training runs after work and to travel to races all over the country on the weekends as you chase personal bests and qualifying times. There’s no shame in making other things take a back seat for your main focus, but finding balance in the key.
Leisure Time is What You Live For
On the other hand you may be someone who works to live, rather than lives to work, and there’s no shame in that either. Just because you’re not putting your career above family time or trips away every single time doesn’t mean you can’t put a lot of hard work into your working life and build a successful career for yourself. By putting in the work early in life so that you can spend your time and money on the people and things that are closer to your heart than your work you’re not being complacent in the workplace. You’re just looking further afield and staying true to your own personal priorities.
The Importance of Balance
When all is said and done, this discussion is really one that rests on finding your own personal balance. What works for one person will lead to burnout or a lack of fulfilment for another. To see what your own personal balancing act would look like why not take 10 minutes and write down what your dream life would look like on a piece of paper? Think big and don’t feel constrained to the here and now. By thinking outside the constraints of your current daily routine you’ll get a much clearer picture of what truly matters to you. Only then will you be able to decide precisely where the balance between work and play lies for you.