Sunday, June 05, 2011

Don't postpone your life

There’s a common work-life balance trap that many people fall into when they have demanding jobs. They put on one side things that they wanted to do with their life, reasoning that it’s necessary to devote some years to their career.  It could be anything from travelling to learning a musical instrument, to spending more time with their children or making a contribution to their local community, or all of the above. Sometimes people push such desires to the back of their mind, or they reason that when they find the space and time they’ll do it. Their work life goes on and before they know it 30 or 40 years have passed.

Some people then find themselves in retirement or semi-retirement and they struggle with what to do with themselves. Inclinations and desires they had when younger seem distant, and that habit of working for so many years has conditioned them to the point where they feel somewhat washed up and useless. They find it hard to find the energy and will even to do the things they once dreamed they would do.

Avoiding this trap is not so easy with the pressures of modern life – but there is an infallible argument to reason to yourself if you don’t want to end up in regret.

It’s to realise the obvious – you cannot have your time twice. The time you have to live your live is now not tomorrow.  Waiting till tomorrow, or when work is not so pressured, or when you retire, to do something you really want to do is a fallacy.  Its procrastination on a grand scale.

To really have an optimum work life balance you need to not postpone your life, and live your life to the full now – anything less is a gamble with your own future.

This is the simplest and most important consideration in work-life balance. Don’t work so that you can “live” later – live now. If you manage to do this then retirement or semi-retirement when it comes for you won’t be a brick wall, it will just be a transition to a time where even more personal fulfilment will be possible.

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