It’s the age old question that anyone trying to build a life for themselves has asked at one time or another. As with everything in life the secret is to find the balance that works for you. Let’s take a look at both sides of the argument so you can see where you sit.
Living to Work
Living to work is something that plenty of people will tell you they do as if it were a badge of honour. Whilst there’s certainly nothing wrong with taking pride in your career and building towards something longer term, do you risk missing out on some of the other things in life with this mindset?
The secret here is to put your career first, but not at the exclusion of everything else. If you find that you’re actively turning down all of your social engagements to stay late at the office then you have to ask yourself if this is really beneficial to you.
Working Hard but Never Playing Hard
Everyone needs a break once in a while, but the issue is that the more you work the less inclined you will be to take a break from things. Working is certainly addictive, and the buzz you get from being in the zone at your desk can be hard to beat for many of us. A good way to ensure you achieve the balance we all need is to view taking a break as beneficial to your work. It will give you time for reflection without you even realising it, and it will make your time in the office a little more focused as you no longer have limitless amounts of time to devote over the weekend to that report you’re working on.
That’s one side of the coin, now how about those of us who work to live?
Working to Live
People who put themselves into this camp are often portrayed as stuck in dead end jobs or jobs that they hate by those who take the opposite approach. Whilst this may be true in some cases, it is far from the case with everyone.
The interesting thing about people who work to live is that they can often be just as, if not more productive during work hours than those who devote every waking minute to their work. This doesn’t necessarily mean that these people are uniquely talented, it simply means they’re making best use of their energy reserves and focus. We all know that work can expand to fill the amount of time available for it. By having plenty of other pressing interests, the work to live camp simply don’t have the time to waste on rechecking emails and drawn out brainstorming. They get into work, they get their work done, and they get out to do something else.
Finding Your Balance
There’s really no right or wrong way here folks, but why not vary things up for a couple of weeks and seeing how you get on? If you work every single day and most evenings why not go out and socialise a couple of times a week and see if there is any actual negative impact on your career?
And if you can’t wait to head out the door why not take a few minutes to think how you could redirect your career and come up with a medium to long term plan that makes it happen?