The line between work and play has slowly been blurring for some time. With 24/7 communication on the one hand and workplaces with pingpong tables and nap rooms on the other, it can be increasingly unclear where one ends and the other begins, leaving some people feeling stressed.
If that’s you, let me suggest that a return to the old idea of clocking in and clocking out might help you find a better sense of work-life balance.
There was a time when most of us “clocked in,” going to work toward a greater purpose in return for payment. Then, when we had finished for that day, we would “clock out,” taking time away to pursue something that was personally fulfilling.
The rules were clear. When it was time for work, you worked. And when it was time to play, you played. Now, you may be uncertain when you should be doing what. For example, where are you reading this article? Chances are you are sitting at the desk in your office, not laying in a recliner at the beach.
But what if you could have it both ways—if you could play while at work and work during your time off? I don’t mean daydreaming about hikes during work hours or bringing home a pile of paperwork from the office. I am talking about a change in mindset that can help you be more effective in your approach to work-life productivity. Taking time to “play” at work and “work” during your time off.
Switching your mentality can make all the difference. For instance, if you go to see a movie on your day off, “clock in” and evaluate the marketing strategies you see. There may be something there you can take into the office. Going surfing? “Clock in” and soak up a crash course on natural lighting. Maybe you will come across creative ideas for adapting social media engagement projects from a car dealership or even be inspired for a logo design from a flower arrangement.
The same kind of approach can be beneficial at work. Look for opportunities to “clock out” and refresh personally for a few minutes. That could be taking a co-worker or friend out to lunch and simply enjoying your time together.
Look for the moments in your work day that can enrich the rest of your life. Be open to ideas and creative solutions for work that you may come across in your “off” time. “Clock in” or “clock out” for a few moments as appropriate, and then return to what you are doing, whether that’s at work or at home.
This article was extracted from Issue 1 of Inspire Magazine (Spring 2021). Learn how to get your copy of Inspire Magazine.