Jul 02 2015

Work hard, play harder.

Killer commutes, 70 hour work weeks, red-eye flights for business meetings, impersonal business hotel rooms, capped off by a global economy that leaves you at the edge of your seat every now and again. Since your work life is rife with stress, how you spend your downtime at home is more important than ever.

An essential nutrient

‘Play’ is that piece of the puzzle too many miss out on in their race to the top. Chasing that big bonus doesn’t have to come at the cost of ‘you time’. Play or relaxation is the antidote to a hard week at work. Fitting in the quiet moments or the unabashed fun times each day is core to your corporate survival. I mean this quite literally.

The body and mind need the ‘feel-good’ endorphins that come from playing a good round of tennis, a walk in the park, a home-cooked meal or a pillow fight with your kids. Without them, you are much more likely to slip into a gloom, or worse – depression. It takes a toll on your physical health too.

Make room for love

Free up a little space in your life for the ones you love. It could be your parents, your spouse, kids or even some close friends. By giving generously of yourself to them — you are investing in yourself. The pleasure and happiness from seeing your loved ones happy will give you an instant boost.

The art of now

The art of now is underrated. It is about making the most of all you have right now. Life is transient enough without us letting precious moments slip away. If you have the time and the means to do something spontaneous, go ahead and do it. Plan your work so you have a backup. Give yourself the freedom to use the time off that you are owed at work.

Too many of us hold back on our ‘play’ and downtime, out of fear, worry or concern over how they will manage without you at work. By the time you realise you could have invested in this moment, the time has passed you by. Don’t let the ‘now’ slip through your fingers out of worry for work. It will only make you bitter and cultivate negativity about work in the long run.

Delight in the little things

It isn’t about the biggest collection of cars, the fanciest of homes or the latest gadgets. While your work can make your ‘dream’ lifestyle possible, it is never as precious as the time with family and friends. A picnic on your terrace or balcony, a game of frisbee in the park, a drive to watch the sunset by the beach, a boisterous round of Twister or charades…happiness comes in all forms.

Some of them you will never see, even if they are staring you in the face. So make a conscious effort to take pleasure in the little things.

 Supersize your downtime

Make it big. You may not have as many hours at home as at work or on the commute there, but you can make it count. Give it your full attention. Put away that phone, don’t check your mail. Have conversations and be in them, completely.

Make a decision to work twice as hard at your downtime as you do at work, and you will see your life sits much easier on your shoulders.


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