Most high achievers and burnt out people really actually enjoy working. Why? Because they are good at what they do, they like the achievement, and they get a high from checking off the to-do list. To them, working more means MEANING more.
However, the problem sets in when they get to their “down time” and cannot rest. Or they feel worthless resting. OR they feel like they have to “earn their rest.”
Let’s talk about what else in your life matters besides work…
PHYSICAL FITNESS: YOUR HEALTH MATTERS. I don’t think I have to explain this one further.
MENTAL FITNESS: Oh yes – the mental stuff matters too. You should enjoy some things that strengthen your mental fitness.
HAVING FUN: trying to be in the moment and enjoy a game.. fun is the literal icing on the cake. If you don’t have leisure in your life, what is the point? Life is meant to be fun.
INTIMACY and ROMANCE: How many of us have neglected our love lives for work?
FAMILY: You may find that you cannot make time for the people you love. This can impact everything if you don’t find value in just existing as a human on this planet.
So, when I say it is okay to like work, I mean it. It is a big part of your life. Actually, you SHOULD like it. I am not telling you as a burnout coach to give up on work and become a total free spirit (though that life is really cool and fulfilling I must say). I am telling you to develop more balance where work becomes a part of the pie of your life.
That way, IF SOMETHING HAPPENS WITH WORK, your whole life does not crumble.
Oh yeah, and, it makes you an all-around happier person because you are just having more fun.
I know I used to find weekends like an empty void if I had no plans, then I would schedule a bunch to keep me preoccupied and out of my feelings, and then I would feel super rushed and angsty on Sunday. You don’t have to run from everything and you can have a balanced fun weekend with boundaries, and you can sit with yourself, if you start to establish a routine that shows you that you like other things besides work and value time alone.
So, a couple of reminders to take with you:
1) Work-life balance is BS. Aim for straight up BALANCE. Treat work like a piece of the other big world you live in – family, friends, fun, fitness, food – all things that should be on your balance sheet.
2) Start scheduling fun. If you do not have time for fun, I am calling you out to find some time now. If you don’t start making time for fun, your life just won’t be fun. Period.
3) Keep a time log of how much you work. You may find that for someone a 40 hour work week is TOO MUCH but for you – you are cruising at a 50 hour work week. Why is that? You like to work and get sucked in to doing it. Start keeping a time log and start getting some breaks in there.
4) Start doing activities with no purpose but to be fun or enjoyed.
5) Check-in with your people pleaser and your gut. Start developing your boundary process.
Remember: I am with you in liking work, but I am also telling you that only liking work or finding value in production is making you less productive, zapping up your time, and keeping you from living the life of your dreams. You are already there friend – you don’t need that next hurdle or accomplishment to finally arrive. That is a myth of a workaholic culture. AND once you do get that accomplishment, you will likely move on to the next one. So, find balance like your joy depends on it.
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