There’s a lot of talk out there about the importance of work/life balance. You should work to live, not live to work. You need enough time away from your career in order to avoid burnout. But what happens when you’re passionate about your biz?
When I worked as a freelance writer fulltime, my work was my life. I’d hustle my ass off, working days, evenings, weekends, and well into the night. I had little to no time for friends, a boyfriend, or even doctor’s appointments.
That was unhealthy. Now that I work a 9-5 and still freelance on the side, I can fully disconnect from my work when away from my laptop. While I don’t yearn for the long hours, I still immensely enjoy what I do for a living and don’t want to compartmentalize my life in anyway. Part of my identity is shaped by being a writer, and I am proud of that.
I find that people stress too much over having to separate their life into different boxes labeled “Work” or “Play” or “Friends” or “Lover.” Just like you want your boyfriend to get along with your friends so that you can all hang, don’t you want your work to seamlessly merge with your life?
The trick is to find joy in your work. Love what you do. I know that’s easier said than done and this is why mindfulness is super helpful. If you practice meditating (using an app like Calm) every morning for 10-15 minutes, it helps you become aware and live in the moment, enabling you to embrace and enjoy it more.
Don’t avoid talking about your job with your friends. They love and support you and want to see you happy, in your career as well as other aspects of your life.
Set a schedule. Routine makes life a whole lot smoother. Adjust it accordingly to fit in workouts, dinner with friends, and other appointments. This way, your day will not be encompassed by your job but rather effortlessly blend in to it.
Get social. If you work in an office, get friendly with your coworkers. This can blur the line between work and life. If you work for yourself, meet other local professionals for coffee or sign up for space in a co-working facility.
See life as a big picture. When you step back and see it as a whole instead of just different pieces, you’ll be a lot happier.