Labor Day signifies the end of summer fun in the sun in the US or International Workers’ Day elsewhere (usually in May however). Wherever you are in the world, it’s time to rethink your priorities and figure out how to really strike that work/life balance by NOT WORKING! That does NOT mean you should quit your job or not show up for work next week. It does mean that you should find time throughout your work life to chill a little and learn to relax.
Why is it we Americans wait for a holiday to relax? In Europe people take extended holidays in the month of August and some cities and towns virtually shut down during the month whether it is considered a “Bank Holiday” or not! In some places it is actually expected to have a 3-hour lunch with friends and family and go back to work for a few hours only to stay out to the wee hours of the morning. That would be unheard of in the US where the proverbial “school night” has nothing to do with education.
As they say you are what you eat but you are most definitely what you do. And trust me if all you do is work, well you know how this story ends or perhaps it does end? In any event, on this Labor Day find a few minutes and think how you might like to live the rest of your working life? Well, would it include maybe “not working.”? It’s not that hard. Think about it we all have 24 hours in a day! You probably give 10-12 of it to your employer each day and you don’t even realize it. There are 6-7 hours where you actually may sleep. But, how are you spending the balance of your time?
If you are like most folks you are either, working additional hours, traveling for work or “networking” again all for the sake of your job. But what do you do with nearly 4-5 hours in a day that are really all about you? If you spend time working out most of you can commit to at least 30 minutes to 1 hour a day. After all no matter how much you like to convince yourself and others that you are training for the Olympics, most might consider working out over 60 minutes in a day as “excessive.”
So how do you fill up your life? Do you paint, sing, play an instrument or volunteer in your spare time? Do you spend quality time with the family, coach little league or teach bible study in your free time? It’s not like you have a lot to give but how much time do you actually gift to yourself? If you say you are working out or spending time with your friends that does not count as “free time”. Most all successful people will tell you that finding time for yourself is the number one thing that helps to be successful in your career no matter how many hours you actually work.
It’s not the quantity of time but the quality of time you give to any venture including the time you give to yourself. If you don’t think that matters you are wrong and will likely burn out before you even book that next vacation trip with the family. Giving yourself permission on this Labor Day means you should be treating this holiday like any other day and not play hard in order to go back and work hard all over again.
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