“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect
but by the play instinct.” --Carl Jung
Or as Wiz Khalifa said: Work hard, play hard.
When it comes to the grind, all creatives know the importance of hard work--that innate ability to push through obstacles and constraints to get your best work out.
Whether you're a writer working on your novel, a musician ready to release your next album or a Youtuber producing content your audience loves, work that reflects your craftsmanship and integrity will always be a priority.
The phrase "work hard, play hard" has been tossed around for some time, almost as if it's the perfect pep talk we need to as we go through a myriad of struggles. It’s like a reminder that we can work hard, and still be able to reward ourselves with a reasonable amount of “playtime.”
Is it necessary? That's your call, but we highly suggest it. Here are five ways on how you can balance work and play:
1. Learn more about your personality.
Our personality traits are innate, and when we learn how to determine if they match well with our work, we're able to understand our needs better. Each of us have qualities of introversion and extroversion and in order to remain happy with what we do, we must honor our dominant traits and consider our sources of energy and motivation.
Once we are aware of our personality traits, this will help us decide what kinds of playtime or activities can fully rejuvenate us. Whether that's hanging out with friends or spending some time alone, our personality are indicators of how we can recharge.
2. Explore the wonders of flexibility.
When trying to fight physical and mental exhaustion--it’s important to have a different environment from time to time. If we have the means to alter the ways we work, whether that's with people in a co-working space, at a cafe, or at our own desks in our rooms, having this flexibility enables us to conceptualize our work better.
3. Don't manage time, manage yourself.
In order for us to use our time wisely, we must know our priorities first. What needs to be done today? What can wait until tomorrow or the day after? Organize these activities in order of value, and plan to make time.
Notice that you're spending way too much time scrolling through the 'gram? Know when it's just mindless scrolling, inspo-hunting (what we like to call it) or just plain procrastinating. You call the shots.
4. Reward yourself.
Finally hit "Publish" on that blog post? Finished editing that video? Got enough comments on your last photo that you thought was too weird? No matter how big or small these are, consider them wins. Then celebrate them.
The biggest reward you can give yourself for working hard is to that even life's pleasures are not just the end product themselves but in the overall process. So go ahead, take that shot, dance the night away. You deserve it.
At the end of the day, know that you are doing just fine. Guilt is hard to get rid of, specially when we've all been conditioned that productive work is all that matters. That that work is the ultimate definition of how we are.
There's some truth to that, but life is more than just the sum of our projects, blog posts, videos. It's also in the details--in slowing down our breathing, getting back to the things that make us laugh, in the revelry of family and friends.
Maintaining a work-life balance isn’t only important to preserve our health and personal relationships, but is also the best way to break through our work. Too much stress can lead to burnout, and we certainly don't want that.
The key is to find balance. We can run towards our art, our work, our writing with the same enthusiasm and vigor towards the things that nurture the inner child within us.