Imagine meeting your CEO or a colleague whom you admire at a social event and thereafter goes to connect and nurture an amazing relationship with him or her outside of work because you both share some common interests?
I have learnt to deliberately create activities around the things that matter most to me other than my job like family time, personal or spiritual development, friendships, recreation and rest. Creating time for things outside of work does not mean that you hate your job, are not serious about career progression and does not want to make a lot of money. It simply means that you derive value and fulfillment from these other aspect of your life, enough to spend quality time and energy on them, same way as your job.
Truth is, whether you are an entrepreneur or a 9-to-5er, jobs will come and go due to, either a business restructuring, economic downturn, or career transition. When your life revolves around your job, your world becomes very narrow; you see and interact with people only in the context of work and how they can be beneficial to your career, you alienate your spouse, children, siblings, friendships, interests and several connections you could make outside of work, you go months without a time off and become overly stressed and run the risk of a burnout or some serious health challenges. What happens when that job suddenly becomes unavailable?
Ponder on these 5 reasons why you need a life outside of work and optimize your personal and professional life:
- You are committed to both work and non-work: Having the discipline of keeping a schedule of activity for both work and non-work activities presents you as an intentional and productive person. In fact, it can be such a powerful motivation booster to help you get through the demands of your work when you have something to look forward to at the end of a long week (or day).
- You are less prone to stress and burnout: I have realised that if one is not physically fit, there will be little or nothing one can do to increase one’s productivity. A physically sick person cannot properly function. You become overly stressed and run the risk of a burnout, poor self-image or some serious health challenges. Taking a breather from work sometimes reduces stress, clear your head and re-energise you. Some of the several ways to reduce stress and burnout is to delegate or outsource, engage in recreational activities or just rest.
- You build or become part of a community: There is not an investment wiser than spending quality time and building a supportive community or ecosystem with family, friends or professional network. Human beings are naturally social creatures – we crave friendship and positive connection. The better the quality of your relationship or network at work, at home or in society, the happier and more productive you are going to be. It doesn’t require that you must be outdoorsy and must enjoy meeting new people. Ambiverts like us knows how to strike a balance between quantity and quality of social interactions because we network on purpose. If you want to experience freedom from negative energy, develop your career or business and live a healthier life, you have to be intentional about the quality of your network of friends or community.
- You live a more meaningful life: The only way to truly enjoy life is to get to a point of clarity about your purpose and bring all the areas of your life to function in alignment with your purpose. This alone will change your perspective about work. Trying to achieve happiness through your work can be possible (you get a promotion or salary raise), but it shouldn’t be the only place you try to find it. In fact, a study done by Harvard Business Review found that when people wrote down the top three things that made them happy, the most common theme was created by phrases that related to activities done outside of work.
- You are more productive: It will surprise you to know that having a life outside work helps you become more successful and productive in your professional life. Nurturing relationships with people of diverse field of interests and professional background can help you bring new perspectives to your work, boosts your creativity and develop new skills to advance your career, grow your influence, impact and increase your income.
To buttress this, Heather Schuck once said “You will never feel truly satisfied by WORK unless you are satisfied by LIFE and life goes beyond work to include other spheres – Health, Family, Marriage, Friends, Self-esteem, Passion, Finance, Recreation, Spirituality, Achievement, Peace of mind, etc. Learn to embrace a holistic lifestyle, you don’t have to live just half a life.