It seems like most people are trying to live their lives through their jobs these days. They are working harder and longer hours than ever and don’t seem to enjoy it at all. They get stressed out, depressed and unhappy. Some people work so hard that they don’t have time for their family or friends.
Don’t fall into this trap! It will lead to unhappiness, stress and even depression if you let it go too far. You need to separate your career from your life. Just because you spend a lot of time at work does not mean that is who you are!
So, what can you do about this?
Well, I have recently read a great book called “The 4-Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferriss. In the book, he talks about exactly this problem and how you can create a lifestyle business instead of a job that consumes all of your life. He talks about how you can leverage other people to do most of your work and focus on the crucial aspects of growing your business. So instead of “living your job”, you live your life while others do the job for you.
You don’t need to rely on one single source of income. When you put all your energy into the thing that pays your bills, you risk losing interest. This is what makes us bored, depressed, and drained. We end up doing a job we hate because it pays the bills, and we think “there is no other way.” But there is.
You can use that job as a way to support yourself while you pursue the things you love on the side. That way, they will never get boring or become a chore.
Let’s not forget that most of us work to live, not live to work. A job should help you develop skills and provide financial support, but it shouldn’t be something you define yourself by or use as a reason for not pursuing different interests and goals.
A job should be a means to an end. It should fund your freedom and give you time to do the things that make you happy in other areas of your life.
You don’t need to spend every waking hour at work, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about leaving early to go on a date or pick up your kids.
If you have a job that is so demanding that it has become your life — if the boundaries between work and home have vanished — you need to re-evaluate why you are doing it in the first place.
When pressure is constant, something has to give, but what? Do you want to fail at work, fail at being a parent or fail at being a partner?
Doing all three well is not possible.
Passionate people do their best work when they have time to rest and recover, time to relax and reflect.
The problem with many people is that they don’t keep work and life separate — they start to blur the lines until they become one thing: your career.
Your career is a passion; it shouldn’t be your life.
When you turn your job into your life, you’re no longer passionate about it. You become obsessed with it and expect perfection in everything you do. You start to believe that as long as you work all the time, everything will be fine. As long as you never leave your desk, there will be no problems in your life, and everything will go according to plan.
Your career is not your life, and it’s just a part of your life. Simply put, you have a life outside of work. Your career should not be the sole focus of your life — you have friends and family to spend time with, interests to pursue and passions to develop. Your job does not define you.
It’s important to recognise that because it’s easy for people to make their careers the cornerstone of their lives, especially when they’re young.
You start dreading Monday mornings and can’t wait for Friday afternoons. You don’t want to think about work after hours or during weekends.
I recently came across a quote by Theodore Roosevelt, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” It not only resonated with me on a personal level but has allowed me to think differently about business and career.
It’s easy to get caught up in all the things we “should” be doing and the things we “should” have accomplished by now — both of which are made worse by our society’s tendency to focus on the positive side of others lives and situations. But at least for me, I’ve found it’s much more rewarding to focus on the present than obsess about the past or future.
In my experience (and maybe yours, too), some of my biggest breakthroughs — both personally and professionally — were because I took risks, tried new things and had fun along the way. So, while I’m excited to see where my career takes me in five, 10 or 15 years, I’m focusing on enjoying the ride with each passing day.