Do you live to work or work to live? While most of us hope the answer to that question is the latter, the reality is that many of us put in far more hours at the workplace that we wish was the case. Many believe they can, or should, be doing more, or at least, doing better.
Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.”
But, it’s often difficult to leave work and separate our personal life from our work life. Cell phone technology has allowed all of us to walk around with a small computer in our pockets, never really disconnecting from a text or email that may come at any moment from a client, coworker or manager. Too many of us never really leave the office.
Work is important to provide the essentials of food, clothing and shelter, and of course, we want enough to enjoy the occasional eating out, vacation or a special splurge. Sometimes working more equates to earning more, but too often, working more simply means added stress and little time for the important things in life like family, friends and self. Work-life balance must be made a priority in our lives for physical, emotional and mental well-being.
A life of all work leaves no time to give back to our communities, help a neighbor or engage in the hobbies and interests we enjoy.
“At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished…It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better,” says actor Denzel Washington on the importance of taking time to help others in our life.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, said “I spend most of my time thinking about how to connect the world and serve our community better, but a lot of that time isn’t in our office or meeting with people or doing what you’d call real work. I take a lot of time just to read and think about things by myself.”
While we may enjoy our careers and coworkers, it’s these things in our personal lives that usually make us feel fulfilled and complete. It’s this time we invest outside of the office that make our family members and friends feel important and valued.
Julianna Zobrist, musician and wife of Chicago Cubs baseball player Ben Zobrist, summed up work-life balance best. “There is so much pressure to be successful. And I’m not sure who decided they’re the boss on what success looks like, but mine is this: to work my tail off at music while loving and dating my husband, having three kids that bring me joy and keep me grounded, and making it home in time to enjoy dancing in the rain.”
Now, that’s the life.