How many times have you thought “I’ll take that trip next year”? How many bedtimes have you missed, how many afternoons have you watched your kids playing at the park through your partner’s instagram instead of being there? When was the last time you left work on time and didn’t pick the computer up again until your next scheduled shift?
As Ryan Carson of Treehouse so kindly pointed out, the average working professional has about 2,000 weekends left before they die. That’s is not a big number. So why are we so obsessed with letting work consume even our time off?
The truth is that we do not need to work 85 hours a week to make more money. Because ultimately, money cannot buy you time. Money cannot buy you love. And while you may not be able to work a four-day workweek like the employees of Treehouse, you can take a page from their book and start working hard towards a better balance.
Work really hard at work, and then stop working. No more “I’ll be on later tonight anyway, I’ll just do this then.” Do as much work as possible while you are on the clock, and then take your evenings and weekends for yourself and the people you care about.
- Pro tip: maximize your efficiency with the many productivity tools available (Slack, Hipchat, Asana, etc.) so you can get more done without infringing on your time off.
Be clear about your working schedule and stick to it. Be available during your office hours to your boss, employees, coworkers or clients. Then when you turn off your phone and go home, you can leave with the peace of mind that those people knew how and when to reach you, and when they can expect to hear from you again.
Maybe one day we’ll all be working four-day work weeks. But until that day comes, remember that living to work isn’t really living at all – life is what happens when you turn off the screens. Don’t let that time be wasted on anything less than what brings you joy.