Working full time makes your schedule solidly locked into a routine, or so it can feel. It takes a lot of energy to be at work and give your best every day, and it’s normal to leave work looking forward to nothing more than a good meal and lots of sleep. That’s not entirely a bad thing.
Having a post-work routine becomes a concern when you find yourself spending most nights feeling lonely or having weekends full of free time that you only use to watch movies. Spending some quality time on self-care can be good, but it’s important to socialize, and a job can make that seem impossible.
Having a life outside work is more necessary than most people realize, and even when you can see the need for change in your own life, it’s hard to break your routine.
What are some tips for improving life outside of work?
1. You Might Get Inspired
You might not be an artsy person, but everyone still needs inspiration at one point or another. By breaking your routine and doing something as simple as taking a different route home from work, you’ll give your brain a wake-up call and ideas for what to try next will come more easily.
Who knows, getting inspired might lead you to find a new hobby or even a future career change. Since you never know what’s going to happen when you try something new, it’s worth a shot!
2. Your Stress Will Add Up Otherwise
Let’s face it, stress will add up no matter what you do after you clock out at the end of the day. However, not going straight home to dinner and bed will help you manage stress better.
When you’re not dealing effectively with your stress, you’re at an increased risk for high blood pressure, decreased brain functions and even cancer.
It can be hard to admit to yourself that you have a lot of stress. Many people don’t deal with it, because it’s easier to ignore it, but you’ll help yourself in the long run by creating activities for yourself outside the office.
3. You’ll Be Happier
It doesn’t require off-the-charts brilliance to realize that you’re happier getting ice cream with friends than typing away at work, but it’s something that’s easy to forget. Trying to achieve happiness through your work can be possible (you get a new promotion or approval from your coworkers), but it shouldn’t be the only place you try to find it.
In fact, a study done by Harvard Business Review found that when people wrote down the top three things that made them happy, the most common theme was created by phrases that related to activities done outside of work. People with hobbies or who planned activities had the most joy, and who doesn’t want that?
4. New Motivations Will Drive You
Right now, your only motivation to get through the day might be something simple, like getting to walk your dog before dinner or even pay the bills at the end of the month. Those can be great goals, but if you plan ways to have fun that aren’t your usual style, you’ll find renewed energy and motivation during the workday.
Extra work that piles up on your desk won’t seem as overwhelming if you’re looking forward to yoga class or trying a new restaurant in town. Changing your routine is an important way to work harder while enjoying life, even if it means you’re just getting take-out for dinner instead of a microwave meal.
5. You’ll Be More Productive At Work
Because your new plans will give you fresh motivation to get through your workday, you’ll probably find that your productivity increases. This is just as great for you as it is for your boss. In fact, most bosses know this and encourage their employees to have a life outside the office.
Not only will you be working harder, but trying something new will give you something new to talk about in the break room as well. A few fellow employees might even want to join you!
6. Your Body Will Thank You
Focusing too hard on work not only produces stress but also physical aches. If you only ever sit at a desk and sit behind the wheel of your car, your shoulders will tense up, causing uncomfortable aches and pains that distract you from work and keep you from having fun.
Not only will you hurt your shoulders by constantly working, you’ll hurt your eyes too. Staring at a computer screen all day will make your eyes strain even if it doesn’t cause any pain. While there are ways to prevent eye strain while at work, it’s better to ease up on your eyes by doing non-work related activities when you can outside the office.
7. Daily Refreshers Are Good For You
It’s important to take time away from your usual way of life to remember that it’s not permanent. Jobs change, life changes and you won’t always live the life you’re living now. You’re going to move on to bigger and better things, but it’s hard to realize that when you’re stuck in the same routine.
Take time outside of work to refresh yourself on just how big the world is and how much there is for you to do. You’ll make new memories and have fun doing it! Splurge a bit and budget some money for something totally new, like parasailing or ice-skating. You’ll be grateful that you did.
Working a job that requires a lot of time and focus during the day can easily trap you in a routine that causes you to not have much of a life outside work. That’s okay! You are not alone. So how do you keep the bad habit of doing nothing but work from happening again?
- Take a walk and meet your neighbors
- Sign up for local classes to learn something new and join a group
- Use an activity to set a goal like joining a church softball team to lose weight or make friends
- Dedicate time to your activity that you can’t take back like paying to take karate lessons
- Commit yourself to a cause by doing things like helping out at a local food bank
How do you spend your time outside or work or what would you like to do in the future? Comment below and let’s get a conversation started! Don’t forget to share with your friends and subscribe for more content that’ll help you create a life and career you love.
Get everything you need to build a career you love by signing up for the newsletter.
Latest posts by Sarah Landrum (see all)
- I’ve Lost My Job Because of COVID-19: What Do I Do Next? - April 30, 2020
- How to Make a Memorable Introduction - February 7, 2019
- 9 Ways to Keep Learning and Advance Your Career - January 20, 2019