Believe it or not, there’s more to life than work. When we’re stuck in the repetitive day-to-day where the majority of our time is spent at work, that can be hard to believe. Many people struggle with separating themselves from work and focusing on other things. But the truth is that we don’t live to work; we work so we can live.
Everyone is unique, but everyone has more in their lives than just work. How do you discover your life outside of work? Try these five tips:
- Set boundaries. Work tends to expand to fit whatever time we have to get it done. Without limits, you may let yourself work all the time and feel like you have enough work that it needs to take all that time. If you set boundaries and decide you’ll leave the office or be done with work at a certain time every day, you’ll have more time for other activities and will likely find you can still get your work done in less time.
- Build relationships. For many people, one of the biggest parts of their life outside of work is relationships with other people, such as a spouse, kids, friends, or a significant other. Relationships of any kind encourage you to get out of the work mindset and enjoy time with other people. It could be meeting up with friends or making it to your kid’s soccer game. Building those relationships will motivate you to get out of the office.
- Find your passion. A hobby is a great way to decompress after work and fill your life with a meaningful pursuit. Hobbies come in all forms, from exercising or baking to reading or knitting. Try something new and step out of your comfort zone. If you’re stuck without a hobby, think about where your thoughts go when you let them wander or the type of websites or magazines you peruse when you have a little free time.
- Help others. Philanthropy and charity work is a great way to fill time. There are always ways we can help others in our communities and around the world. Volunteering and getting involved in charity work can provide a sense of purpose that acts as a motivator to step away from work.
- Set goals. Where do you want to be in 5 or 10 years? Consider your whole being, not just where you’ll be in your career. Then set goals to get there. It could be learning a new skill, traveling somewhere new, or pushing your body with a new activity. Goals are powerful motivation tools to keep your progress on track.
Even though work is a big part of our lives, ultimately, we’re working so we can live happier, more engaged lives. We’re not working so we can just work more. Find those relationships and activities outside of work to turn you into a balanced and happy person—both at work and at home.