Working for a charity is work in support of others. Even if you’re not in the direct conveyance of services to those in need of education, shelter, culture or a voice, your work is somehow aligned with a mission that gives to others.
Giving to others, whether at work or on the personal side, is exhausting. And I highly recommend it.
If you’re going to give to others, you have to take for yourself. Take time off. It relaxes your mind and gives you fresh perspective.
For me, it’s reenergizing and keeps me from resenting giving to others. If all I do is give, and never take time for myself, I fear I’ll start to see others as an encroachment on my time, rather than as a source of joy and opportunity.
Time off should be the endeavors that relax you. It could be a mani/pedi or a day at the spa; a round of golf or time at the beach; word games; vigorous biking or leisurely walking; tending a garden or crocheting an afghan.
At home in New York City, I run and lift weights in a gym. I’m fortunate to have a second home, and when I’m there I treat myself to time in my hot tub.
The picture is representative of my hot tub time. I’m sure you spied the empty glass of red wine. I assure you my phone is nowhere within reach or sight.
Whatever you do to indulge in time off, turn off your phone.
Earlier this month I played pirates with my 7- and 9-year-old nephew and niece. It reminded me to take time to balance family and friends with work.
Perhaps you have to, because you have children. I hope work is the chore and your kids are a pleasant–if trying–pastime.
Or, like me, you may not have children at home, so you don’t have that personal demand on your time. You still will benefit by taking time to be with family and friends. It’s not a mere distraction from work. If you see it like that you’ll cut it short and won’t enjoy it while you’re in it.
It’s a lovely time to explore ideas unrelated to your work; share stories; laugh your ass off; tell jokes you can only tell with family and dear friends; talk politics without restraint; laugh at yourself; share meals and drinks; swear like a teen; and act like a fool. All worthwhile endeavors now and then.
I have a big opportunity coming up later this month. I’m hosting a birthday party at my home in North Carolina for my high school friends who turn 50 this year. Not just a night. A long weekend. It’s going to be quite memorable and I’m confident we’ll have a very good time.
You won’t find this kind of leisure time. You’ll have to make it. I believe it’s time well spent.
Whether it’s searching for gold doubloons that look like plastic easter eggs, and slaying enemies with machine guns (our pirate ship was very technologically advanced), or it’s adult time, make time for leisure with others.
It’ll refresh you and improve your work. Just like a good nap.
None of this is laziness. It’s rejuvenating time, to make you better and sharper at your work.