5 ways to make sure that work isn’t your everything

There’s nothing wrong with loving your job and going above and beyond to make sure that you do the best you can and meet your professional goals. Being passionate about your work is definitely a good thing, but there’s a difference between that and letting it completely take over every waking moment of your free time.

Here are five ways to feel fulfilled outside of the office.

Crack open a good book

A great story practically reads itself, making it easy to have a whole lot more on your mind than just work requests, ongoing projects, office personalities, and emails.

If you’d rather read digitally, listen to podcasts about non-work-related subjects on your commute, while you work, and when you get home, or tote around a Kindle so you’re never without a good read.

Books can change the way you think, inspire you to travel, and motivate you to strive for your goals.

Re-connect with people you care about

You can get an emotional boost from taking the time to connect with those who mean a lot to you.

To have a life outside of work, get back in touch with them, and do everything you can to make sure that nothing gets in the way.

A Fast Company article by Harvey Deutschendorf on what people who have work-life balance do mentions this, saying, “people who have managed to carve out a work-life balance that works for them don’t just wait to see what time is left over after work. They make a point of planning and booking time off to spend outside of work and powerfully guard this time. While emergencies happen and situations come up that need their attention at work on occasion, they strongly resist any intrusion on this time.”

Explore new places

Changing your surroundings can shift your outlook on what’s possible for you, so pack up the truck and hit the road for a Sunday drive with friends and/or family.

While planning an upcoming vacation can also be a rush of excitement, hopping on a bus or train to check out shopping, dining and sights in another local area can be a cheaper, short-term solution.

Spend time on your hobbies

While reading and listening to podcasts definitely fall under the “hobbies” umbrella, find something that also lights a fire in you by taking a class, joining a club or team.

Do volunteer work. Take up mentoring. Do something productive that takes you far out of your comfort zone.

This will give you the opportunity to make memories with new people — and maybe even change both of your lives in the process.

Draw the line

The work has to stop somewhere, or you’ll have no time for things like self-care.

A HuffPost article on how entrepreneurs can “prevent work from consuming your life” tells us why it’s so important to keep things separate.

“There has to be a clearly delineated boundary between your work and your personal life. This applies to your daily routine, as well as making time for yourself on the weekend. For example, some people make a point of closing their computer at 7:30 each evening, or not working on Sundays, or not working once the family comes home. By separating your work time from your home time, you’ll better associate your office with being productive and your home with relaxation,” it says.

While the need to get ahead can also be very consuming if you’re a small-business owner — especially on the weekend — that’s all the more reason to recharge by giving yourself the break you need.