JW Way Fundamental #24: Maintain a healthy work life balance
“Stay happier, healthier and more productive by balancing your time between billable hours, marketing, community activities, family, friends, emotional/spiritual well-being and physical fitness. The healthier you are, the more you will thrive personally and professionally.”
As I sat down to write this message, I noticed the words “choose” and “chose” kept coming up as I gathered my thoughts. And, really, when it comes down to it, it really IS a choice as to how much of a work/life balance one chooses to have. However, when you have a strong work ethic, it can be difficult to give yourself permission to relax or have fun because there is always some type of work to be done. I really admire people who have a strong work ethic, yet they can choose to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
Working hard was, and still is, an extremely valued characteristic in my family – not just in my immediate family, but my extended family as well. My parents and my aunts and uncles were immigrants. Life in the old country was tough. I went back to Cleveland for a wedding several years ago, and I was talking to one of my cousins about her future son-in-law. The first thing she said about him was, “He’s such a hard worker!” – not “He adores Lisa” (who is her daughter) or “He’s so good to Lisa.” Nope. He is a hard worker. It just struck me. Admittedly, and probably because of my upbringing, I’m not good at maintaining a work/life balance. When I am not work-working, usually there is work keeping my home and taking care of my extended family. Yes, these are choices I make. And to balance, I do go out to lunch or dinner with friends, which I find very enjoyable.
Sadly, there are a lot of companies that do not encourage work/life balance for their employees. Fortunately, that is not the case at our firm. After all, it’s one of the fundamentals! But, again, it is up to each person to choose to implement their version of work/life balance. As the weekend neared, I was already making a mental list of all the things I “needed” to do over the weekend. You know the adage, no person on their deathbed ever says they wish they had worked harder, or they wished they had spent more time at the office. Focusing on health, relationships, and balance, as defined by you, produces joy.
I was watching TikTok this evening and this quote seemed very fitting to this JW Fundamental: “You’re not stressed because you are doing too much. You’re stressed because you’re doing too little of what makes you feel most alive.”