It’s okay to be working very hard and keeping very busy. But if we find that the scales are always tipping on the side of work, and we’re feeling negative about the work we have to do, then we are not leading very balanced lives. Those negative feelings of overwork will have repercussions in every facet of our lives. If there is a gap between what we feel is vital for us to be doing in our leisure time and what we do in our leisure time lives, we may find that we’re not as satisfied as we would like to be. Perhaps our lifestyle has just become a workstyle.

Things can become problematic when we perceive or feel that we are losing our lifestyles to total workstyles. For example, do some of these activities indicate what could be a work style for you?

– going to work earlier, working lunch hours and leaving later to get the extra work done
– sacrificing evenings and weekends to meet work deadlines
– running from one activity to the next
– falling behind with one’s household functions (cleaning, washing, cooking, doing yard work).
– feeling harried about getting ready for special family occasions such as celebrating birthdays and the holidays.
– no longer feeling human because there’s just no time for “self.”.

Do you find you have little time left after all the daily requirements of running a home, caring for a family and meeting other commitments? If you do manage to squeeze in some time for yourself, is it done at the same frenzied pace as everything else you must do? Is it as beneficial to yourself as you would like to believe? We must have the time and be fully engaged in enjoying and appreciating a leisure activity.

To help us focus on what we want to do, first and foremost, we must have realistic expectations of ourselves. We mustn’t drive ourselves crazy by feeling that we have to have perfectly balanced work lives and perfectly balanced leisure lives. The scales will tip back and forth between the time we spend at work and play and often tip more to one side than the other. We must be aware of those times and sometimes make some adjustments.

Finding Leisure in Today’s Hectic World.

Forecasts that we would spend fewer hours at our jobs and have more hours of leisure on our hands are not materializing. As the employment picture has changed dramatically with cutbacks in budgets and staff, company mergers and downsizing, creating the opposite situation.

The reality for many people is long hours at their jobs and fewer hours of leisure.

When terminating employees, the remaining staff are often left to face a higher workload. The uncertainty of one’s position among today’s workers has generated an obsessive need to prove one’s worth by putting in those more extended hours.

And for some people, part-time employment is the norm, not the exception. Economics has made it necessary for people to have two or three part-time jobs to survive financially. Running from one daily job location to the next within a limited time has made the logistics of just getting to work a real balancing act. Often there is even less leisure time to juggle when one must focus on several part-time jobs.

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