When I started this post, it was the weekend! Loverboy wrote Working for the Weekend, and let’s face it – most people do (check out the video at the end). After five grueling days in the trenches, we look forward to taking a break, spending time with family and friends, and recharging our batteries so we can get back to work on Monday.
There are a select few who don’t look at work as ‘being in the trenches.’ Those fortunate people truly enjoy what they do and feel excited about the possibilities that a new week brings. So you may be surprised to learn that even they enjoy time away from work.
I’m in that group. I love what I do, because it truly helps change lives. It’s a great feeling knowing that I get to help people, whether individuals or business owners, on a daily basis. Yet I also need to get away and do things that help me to relax. No matter how much I love my work, my mind needs a break. That’s where the weekend (or any day of the week that works for you) comes in.
Get Your Game On
Last weekend a fantastic, fun-loving couple whom I admire greatly invited me to their home. Though relatively young, they work at keeping their marriage exciting while still managing to include others in their lives. The husband has a reputation of being a game master, and he certainly lived up to it that evening! When we first walked in, he had a greeting on a whiteboard – written in pictures we had to decipher in order to understand the message. That rebus was just the start of our fun. He also had everyone write a question (no holds barred, but still maintaining Christian decorum) on a piece of paper. The questions went in a box, along with some interesting ‘challenges’ he prepared. Later that evening, we all took turns pulling out either a question or challenge and then answering it or performing the task indicated respectively. Prior to that, he divided the guests into two teams (there were about 18 of us) and we played a game of Pictionary with a twist. Each team rolled a die to determine the points they received – but could double the points if they chose to accept a hard phrase as opposed to an easy one. I know, “hard” is subjective – but we all had fun! At the end of the evening, we were all laughing, had learned a lot about one another, and there are some – incriminating – pictures floating around.
Sometimes you need to get your game on. Embrace the inner child. Let your hair hang down (or tie it up in a ponytail) and cut loose. Those periods of refreshment are essential to our well-being. Why? It’s all about being balanced. You can’t have success in one area of life at the expense of other areas and still enjoy a life of abundance. Don’t think that’s the case? After all, someone who currently faces major financial hurdles may believe that some extra income would solve all their problems. They may believe that so firmly that they put their entire focus on creating wealth – and may achieve that goal. Yet, their situation is no different from that of the savvy businesswoman mentioned by Marc Chernoff (see point 12). She earned over a $1M with her online business in a year. That success elevated her status in the eyes of other entrepreneurs. How does she feel? She feels depressed. As she puts it, “I’m burnt out and lonely. I just haven’t taken enough time for myself lately, and I feel like something is missing in my life.” The bottom line is this: To truly enjoy life, you need to keep things in balance.
All of the above is easy to say, but not-so-easy to do. We live in a world that puts inordinate value on arbitrary things to define “success,” such as the neighborhood in which you live, the kind of car you drive, or the clothes you wear. Therefore, we’re overtly and subtly pushed to acquire those things, often at the expense of our personal lives. Granted, sometimes we make necessary sacrifices. The problem starts when “sometimes” becomes all the time.
Therefore, I challenge you to do something suggested by a mentor, David Byrd:
- Set a goal. As you plan the upcoming month before it begins, set one recreational goal for yourself. It could be to spend an evening with friends, take in a performance, or take the family on an outing. Make sure you set a date by which you’ll accomplish this goal
- Make it happen. Whatever it takes, make sure to accomplish that goal. Just as you sometimes have to sacrifice to accomplish business and career goals, you must also make adjustments for this goal. It’s that important. Since it’s a single goal, which means it’s also a single event, even us workaholic types can wrap our minds around taking one weekend, or even just a weekend day to do something fun!
One last point: When you’re enjoying your down-time, be ‘in the moment.’ While I won’t tell you to turn off your mobile devices, if you could put them on silent (not even vibrate) you’ll get so much more out of your well-deserved periods of recreation. Learn to simply enjoy those precious moments when you can relax and unwind.
Keeping our balance in this world is challenging, but oh-so-necessary. You’ll find the rewards from doing so are much greater than anything you’ve sacrificed to enjoy some down time. Remember, it’s all about balance. All work and no play makes Jack (or Jill) a dull boy (or girl)!
What do you like to do with your down time? Do you schedule time for relaxation, or do you prefer to let things happen? Do you feel you make the most of your time away from work when it comes to recreation? Share your thoughts in the Comments below!