Realize That Work is Half of Your Life – So Enjoy It!!

“Find a job you like and you add five days to every week.”
~ H Jackson Brown, Jr

For most people, work takes up a significant chunk of their lives.

OK, so it may not literally be half of your life in terms of the working hours you are actually paid for, but is that all of the time you spend working, thinking about work or influenced by your work?

For a lot of people time at work may actually equate to half of their waking hours every week – even more for some.

So, if work takes up such a huge part of our lives, what does that mean?

Well, for a start it means that it probably affects other parts of your life more than you perhaps realize.  I’m not just talking about not being able to take holidays because you can’t get the time off work, or the times when you have to take work home with you.  I mean even those times when you are free to do other things, you don’t need to be at work and you have no work to do – are you completely free of your work?

If, like a lot of people, you have aspects of your work that are difficult or stressful, the answer to the above question is probably ‘No’ – i.e. even when you’re free to do other things, you are not completely free because work is still occupying your thoughts in some way, shape or form.

This is also fine if work is something you like to think about – even if work is something you don’t mind thinking about, then it won’t ‘spoil’ other parts of your life.

However, if work is bothering you more than it should, then you should really think about doing something about it.

The chances are that it is actually affecting you even more than you yourself realize it is. It could be affecting your health. Most people who are stressed don’t really realize how stressed they are or they realize that they are stressed when it’s too late to do anything about it.

Now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. I don’t mean to suggest that everyone who ever had any kind of stress in their work should suddenly take drastic action. The point is about balance. Some people thrive on certain kinds of stress.

Just be careful; some people think that they thrive on being super-efficient in stressful jobs where others may crumble but are a little in denial about what it is actually doing to their own life balance.

Is that true for anyone that you know?

The point of this article is to encourage you to take a look at your own work situation and just honestly assess where you are at.

Do You Have A Healthy Work / Life Balance?

What would you change if you could and what’s stopping you?

You may work long hours and do so because you think you have to or because you think that’s what’s expected of you.

That thought may come from you alone
without you realizing it. You may work long hours just because everyone else does (perhaps you are all thinking the same). You may have had days where you wish the boss would go home so that you could? You may think you have to do the work because if you don’t nobody else will…

Do You Enjoy Your Work?

What about when you’re actually at work?

Do you enjoy your work?

Do you like the people you work with?

Are you sufficiently rewarded for your work, whether for you the most important answer to this question comes in terms of recognition, money, results, thanks or whatever else you value?

If not, what would need to change so that you do enjoy your work? Would you need to actually change what you do completely or just aspects of it?

Are There Things You Could Easily Change To Improve Your Situation?

Once you really look at these things objectively you would be amazed at how many things you can actually change to improve your working situation (which could be as simple as a small mental shift to change your attitude towards your work or your relationship with your work). 

Often you can make very small, easy changes but which have a big difference – and it starts with just a simple moment to yourself considering your own situation.

Are You Taking For Granted The Good Situation You Already Have?

Perhaps your work situation is really good but you just take it for granted and don’t realize it.

This moment of reflection may be as simple as reminding yourself how lucky you are and just telling yourself to appreciate things more.

Could You Give Yourself A Break From Thinking About Work All Of The Time?

You can also change the impact work has on other areas of your life.

You can choose to be in the moment so that at work, you work; but family time is precious and when you’re with your family, work doesn’t even enter your mind.

You can train your friends and colleagues to respect that ‘rule’ and they’ll probably respect you more for that too.

A related topic which is useful in all walks of life is the idea of mindfulness which is covered in this article: How To Practice The Art of Mindfulness.

Whatever your work situation, given it is probably a large portion of your life, you might as well enjoy it!


Realize That Work is Half of Your Life – So Enjoy It!! — 4 Comments

  1. This post came at the right time for me. Since I’ve started my student teaching this semester at school, my time spent working has increased significantly. Not only do I have to work 40 hours a week on the job, but I also have to do a bunch of work afterwards. This week especially has been stressful. Ever have that stressful, tense feeling all over your body? That’s how I’ve been for most of this week. Now that the week is winding up, I have started to relax more, but I still have two more days before I can really unwind.

    I agree with you that you need to do something if work is getting to you. A couple nights ago I just decided to watch a movie and do no work at all. I had plenty of things I could have done, but I knew that I needed a break more. It was a great idea. I felt so good afterward. It will all be worth it. And in a couple more weeks, my work load will go down significantly. But in the meantime I should take more of your advice and keep an eye on my work/life balance.

    • Hey Steve,

      well, I’m glad this helped but at the same time I’m sorry to hear that work is so stressful for you at the moment – particularly as I know you are a pretty chilled out kind of guy.

      At least you have the presence of mind to do something about it and probably more resources than most to that end – I know you have your priorities straight and a really good approach to life – let me know if there’s anything at all I can do to help,

      cheers buddy,

  2. Good point – having a little extra focus made the day go quicker and changed your perception. Like a lot of things, it’s all about perception. If you think you hate your job, you’ll hate your job, but you can change your focus.

    Maybe you won’t switch from hating your job to loving your job but looking at it a different way can shake you out of the same old negative thoughts – as in your example.

    take care & best wishes,


  3. A game changer for me was to realize I “only” had 4 hours after arriving before lunch and I wanted to get some things accomplished. Or I “only” had two hours before the next meeting. It made the day go more quickly in spite of the fact that I didn’t like my job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *