When do you decide that you’ve worked hard enough?

Tomorrow morning I’m going away on a much-needed vacation for a week.

How can we be effective at achieving our goals and deepest desires if we’re burning the candle at both ends and killing ourselves with stress in the process?

[Tweet “When do you decide that you have worked hard enough and need to take time off to recover?”]

For the last few weeks I feel like I haven’t had enough time to recharge and I think that’s wrong. I shouldn’t have to get to a breaking point of complete emptiness and exhaustion before deciding that I need to go on vacation for my own mental health. Honestly, I feel so tired – not from lack of sleep, rather I’m “tired out”.

I’m not experiencing writer’s block or a lack of ideas. Far from it! I have more ideas than I know what to do with. I’m experiencing the kind of tiredness that limits how long I can focus on a project, and my passion for what I want to achieve is diminishing by the day.

Have you ever felt like this?

In my ideal life I see myself booking vacations in advance for the year so that I can have intense periods of productivity and feel great about working hard, knowing that I’ll have time to completely relax and let go.

Drinks on the beach

Oh I am so looking forward to some of this!

I envision at least one week’s vacation every quarter and a weekend away every single month. It’s not about extravagance or how much the vacation costs or how far away, rather it’s the quality of time off to rest, recover and recharge. It’s about reconnecting with my humanity – with what it means to realize that I can be at peace without self-imposed obligations or stress.

[Tweet “What areas of your life are being negatively affected by not taking time off from your work?”]

Is it your physical health? Your mental health? The quality of your relationships with your partner, family or friends?

We push ourselves so hard – too hard sometimes. Why do we force ourselves to work so hard? Why do we give up so many important things to achieve other goals, especially if the things we give up are what make us human like our health or relationships? We are human beings after all, not “human doings”.

While writing this post I’m doing my laundry and other errands pre-trip and I’m “pushing myself” to make this a quality post. Why am I pushing so hard? Yes, I’m asking myself!

I chose to write, in part because the idea for this post has been in my head for a few days, but I didn’t know if the words would flow. I want (need?) to publish, even though I’m stressed and rushing, because it will make me feel good and accomplished. There, that’s the reason! Writing is my biggest passion and I will feel like I haven’t done something important for me if I don’t publish.

[Tweet “What are your reasons for pushing yourself to the breaking point? Are they worthwhile?”]

My reasons are my own. I want Eat, Move, Be to grow and I want to inspire more people with what I have to share to make your life better.

I’m beginning to see what many futurist writers and social commentators have written about – we live in a society that expects us work hard, often at the expense of our own health, our dreams and humanity.

We all need to find the right “work-life” balance. Tomorrow morning I will be sitting on a plane knowing that for eight full days I can let go. I’m excited for the warm sand between my toes, for the lack of an internet connection, and most importantly for the time to just be with my partner.

Let me know how you achieve a “work-life” balance in the comments below.

Look for my next post in the week of February 23rd!

Be well.