Get a hobby
Once you know what you’re interested in outside of work and what your life is missing, focus on pursuing an interest as a hobby. What’s the difference? Having a hobby means consistently engaging in an activity that makes you happy and hopefully challenges you in some new way. It sounds too simple to possibly have an impact on your career, but habitually doing something that brings you joy can broaden your horizons in so many wonderful ways—ways that ultimately revitalize your mind and spark new creative ideas.
Instead of stressing about work every night and dragging yourself out of bed every morning to do the one thing you must to pay the bills, you might wake up excited to see what the day holds—and how your hobby can affect your career.
I got into skateboarding in the ’80s after an encounter with “Back to the Future” and the mind-blowing realization that I could be like Marty McFly. Now, nearly half a century later, I’m still rolling and reaping the benefits of having a hobby. Skateboarding has connected me with so many cultures, personalities, challenges and rewards—like a community of passionate people who share my interests and a way to get involved with my city. Plus, it’s given me a purpose outside of the office, which is absolutely necessary if you want to achieve a healthy work-life balance. You can’t spend all night worrying about that project or those deadlines if you’re focused on something else for a few hours.
No matter how much you love your job, work can’t be your whole life. That’s a recipe for burnout and bad creative output. It’s good to set expectations about what you can and can’t accomplish by the end of the day. Yes, there will be times when you’ve got to meet a deadline or deliver something unexpected, but don’t fall into the habit of being someone who’s always available at 7 p.m. If you want to build your life outside of the office, you have to be able to unplug.