How to Balance Work and Fun – Can We?
When Work and Fun Collide
“Team up with a friend to accomplish a challenging task. Your weakness may be her strength, and vice-versa. Suddenly it’s done!” – Judy Dippel
It’s summer, so we have to face facts. The warm, summer sun shining through the window is a magnet, drawing us outside. We want nothing more than to go out and play, yet the constant “to do” list stares right back. Guilt, or guilt-free, what is it going to be? Do the responsible thing and focus on the work that needs to be accomplished? Or, throw caution to the wind, turn the computer off, and call a friend to get outside and have fun?
It isn’t all that simple to balance work and fun, even when self-employed. (Remember, stay-at-home moms are self-employed…so read on.) The theme for this article came about because my friend and colleague, Denise Beins, (CEO Systems) prompts me on what needs to be done to help me keep up with my “to do” list. As usual, she is organized and reliable, phoning this morning to ask, “Is your newsletter done?” Sheepishly, I answer, “umm…no…I’m planning on getting it done tonight.” She immediately suggests. “Let’s write it together, for both your readers and mine.” It sounded great and left me feeling guilt-free and sounded fun, which is always high on my priority list! Problem solved.
You’ll know we successfully balanced work and fun if this arrived in your inbox. Below, are some doable ways we have found that help satisfy the need to get your work done, and create time for fun in the sun!
- Creative Scheduling. If your work allows it, be creative about when you want to be outside playing. Perhaps you will want to start your day early so you can be done working by 2:00pm, then head to the lake?
- Set Incentives. Having a reward built in once you accomplish a specific task is a great motivator.
- Have a Clear Plan. Write out an action list for the day. One thing I do is take the items that will take a small amount of time (5 or 10 minutes) and do those first. They may not be the highest priority, but getting the ball rolling and sense of accomplishment is inspiring.
- Know Your Limits. There isn’t time for everyone, so remind yourself to spend “time off” with those who matter most, doing things that are most fun for you. It feels good.
- Outdoor Work Space. Are there projects on your list that you can take with you while you sit at a park or on your back deck? Having the freedom to change up your environment can be energizing and fun.
- Schedule Time Off. Three day weekends or a week-long vacation can be very rejuvenating. Upon your return (once you catch up on emails, mail, calls, etc.), you will be refreshed and ready to take on that next big project.
- Let Technology Work for You … not the other way around. Voice mail, texts and email waits for you. Take a day off from technology, or at least a few hours. Take a break; leave your cell in the drawer and get out and chat with the squirrels and birds.
- Team Work. Some tasks are appropriate to team up with others, building in accountability and more fun. For example, this newsletter! Denise and I have worked together on several projects and we both wanted to get our article out today. So … we joined forces and blended our thoughts, and we both get to cross it off our list. Seemed effortless since we could partner up.
- Life Slips By Quickly. The memories you keep will not be whether you checked eight things off your work list on Tuesday. They will be the hike with a friend, time with the kids, your beautiful garden.
We both vote for you to have more fun, then go ahead and get work done!
Choose one of the above, begin making it a habit!
Wishing you clear skies in summertime!