Why Work-Life Balance is Crucial

“Work-life balance isn’t a teeter-totter. It doesn’t have to be 50-50. It can be 60-40 if you really value your career, or 40-60 if you’re focused on family, but you need to have a work-life balance.”

The words of the Women in Business panelist resonated with me deeply. I cringe when I hear public relations professionals talk about having to be reachable at every moment. I stress when I see completely full calendars.

We need our hobbies. Becoming a “well-rounded individual” isn’t a goal reserved for liberal arts colleges.

I hate that the answer to the small-talk “What do you do?” is your career. We are not our job descriptions.

When we’re all work and no play, we’re dull boys and girls. That phrase exists for a reason.

Instead of seeing hobbies as distractions to work, let’s see them as fuel for it.

When’s the last time you saw an aspiring entrepreneur dedicate his whole life to the desk job that pays the bills? A successful, creative entrepreneur engages her outside passions and dreams; they spark her business goals and results.

If I hadn’t let myself pursue an outside interest in writing, I wouldn’t have realized that speech-language pathology was wrong for me. I wouldn’t have realized that my true love was in communications.

Writing was my outlet, and I made it my work, so I’m using other activities to prevent burnout.

I devote a few hours each week to my college’s chapter of a service organization called Project Sunshine. And while it isn’t exactly helping my career, it gives me a dedicated time to tune out social media strategy and communications consulting. We knit, listen to throwback jams from the 2000s, and socialize with people that we aren’t competing with for jobs. We gripe about our roommates and collectively take silly BuzzFeed quizzes. We relax.

Here’s the thing:

We must refuse to make work our everything.

We must engage our outside passions.

We must be more than our job descriptions.

We must not be dull boys.

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