Finding the right balance between pursuing your career at a top corporate office and your passion for the great outdoors can be a tricky business. However, having a (demanding) full-time job should not stop you from having awesome, adventure-filled weekends. Instead, your life at work and during the weekend should be contrasting yet complement each other. Want to get the most out of your quick trip away from your 9-to-5 job? Here are a few tips to ensure work-life balance while you are away from your office desk:
1. Forget work once you leave the doorWhether it’s a Monday or a Friday night, the only way that you can create a work-life balance is to make sure that you never take stress with you. Nothing is worse than adding the weight of worry, stress or guilt (oftentimes about the things that are beyond your control) with you while you are out for the day or the entire weekend. Take the time to relax your mind and forget your responsibilities — it will become much easier to think things clear when you have gone back from your quick escapade.
2. Learn to take breaksEven robots and machines who work nonstop for extended periods can break down. Learn to take breaks whether it’s an hour of stretching and walking around (you will need the exercise, too) or a weekend away from the city. Working late hours is occasionally acceptable but remember that doing this does not necessarily equate to productivity. When you take the time to do something that makes you happy personally, you find inspiration again which will help you become more focused and more driven at work.
3. Have distraction-free hoursTechnology has become so intertwined with our daily lives — emails, messages, calls, social media — that it becomes very hard for us to be apart from it even just for a few minutes. Take the time to turn off your phone, or put them in ‘Airplane Mode’, even just for an hour a day to get a feel of how life is without these distractions. If you are going away for the weekend, leave your other gadgets and only bring a phone that will allow you to call or send a text message. Tell your family and friends to call you when there is a life-and-death emergency; you’ll be surprised just how silent your phone will become.
4. Hang out with outdoors-loving peopleFind friends at work who has the same level of passion for the outdoors as you have. If you can find another set of friends outside the office, then the better. This way, you will find yourself more excited to see faces that you do not already see for the entire week. If you are more of a lone adventurer, alternate your escapades being alone and being with other people. It is always great to make new friendships and connections plus it also means more stories and more people to borrow gears or ask camp food from.
5. If it scares you, it might be worth doing itYou continue to challenge yourself day after day at work — why not extend it to your life outdoors? Make yourself breathless on the weekends by scaling a mountain or taking a hiking trail you have not yet been to. Do something that scares you or one that simply breaks the monotony of your life’s routine. It helps that you occasionally go for something that will make you feel alive and vulnerable.
6. Continue to push your limitsIn the same way that you push the boundaries of your capabilities at work, you should also do the same thing when you are outside. Perhaps camping with friends is something that you do regularly? Why not try going solo for once? Are you an avid skiier? Why not try a steeper slope this weekend?
7. Create new hobbies outside of workAnd, speaking of, why not try to push yourself to try all sorts of new activities and go to new places every now and then? It can be very easy to stay comfortable once you have familiarized yourself with a particular trail or hobby, so push yourself yet again. Just like at work, doing the same thing over and over again can get tiring. Why not try something new or explore some place else the next time around? Your career might be something you want to focus at right now but you also need to make sure that you find the time to explore other interests or at least spend your extra hours with family and friends.
8. Align your goals with your passionHave you always wanted to create your own outdoors shop? Is guiding people around trails or making outdoor itineraries something that you have always been passionate about? Perhaps you have always wanted to invent an all-in-one product that can answer to all your outdoor needs? Often, life pushes us in another direction than what we would have wanted but this should not stop us from pursuing the things we really want. Use your weekends to hone your skills and fuel your passion so you can work towards your goals.
9. Look for the right employerNot all of us are lucky enough to spend our time the way we choose it. If you can’t put up your own business (yet), then at least find a job that is flexible enough to allow you to pursue your passion for the outdoors. It sucks to have a full-time job when you just want to be outdoors everyday but, let’s be practical, jobs will help you afford more gears and explore new places, too.
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