How to Play Hard: Tips for Workaholics

by David Bohl
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” This proverb, made famous in the 1980 horror film The Shining, is a valuable tidbit to take from the silver screen to your real life.

As with everything, it is important to find a balance between the time you spend hard at work and the time you spend pursuing leisurely activities. Even more so, if you work significantly hard, you must, in turn, play equally as hard.

Read on to find tips on transferring your fervor in the working world to more recreational activities.


If you happen to be a workaholic, chances are you may not even know it. Some people become engrossed in their work because they truly love it. Others simply must work hard to get by. In either case, however, it’s important to balance your workload with time for play. Tear yourself away from that report and reflect upon the amount of time you spend working and the quality of that time. If you categorize yourself as someone who works particularly hard, it’s necessary to maintain equilibrium between your work-related activities and your personal life. Otherwise, all of that toil will eventually become overwhelming.

Reward Yourself

This one is a no-brainer. When you work hard, you deserve a reward! Just as you may reward your children when they do their chores with stickers on a chart or a weekly allowance, you deserve a treat when you get your job done as well. Many people think of their salary as their reward for working hard, but salaries are often spent on necessities or socked away for a rainy day. Find a way to compensate yourself for hard work aside from your paycheck. You’ll find that your rewards will serve not only as a much-needed prize but an incentive to continue working at such high levels of excellence.

Reinvent Your Passion

When you love what you do for a living, it’s easy to throw yourself into it wholeheartedly and lose track of the time you spend at the office. Loving what you do and being able to earn a profit from it is certainly a blessing, but try not to let your passion for your career overshadow other interests you may have. Instead, use some of the energy you would normally put into work to delve into a new hobby. Chances are if you are the type of person who becomes absorbed in your vocation, you will easily channel that same enthusiasm into something of a recreational sort.

Reserve Time for Play

The bad thing about working hard is it can be extremely time-consuming, leaving little room for anything else on your plate. While demanding jobs are oftentimes satisfying, you must intentionally set aside time for fun if you’re going to play as hard as you work. Schedule a monthly happy-hour get-together after work on Fridays or have a power lunch with some of your like-minded coworkers (but don’t spend the whole time talking about work!). Wake up thirty minutes earlier in the morning to participate in a yoga class or watch morning cartoons with your children. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it is a priority on your agenda. Playtime deserves just as much priority as work!

Working hard is often required of us, but taking time out for fun is taken for granted. There is nothing wrong with working your heart out as long as you are able to maintain a balance with playing your heart out! Start by reflecting upon your living habits, and if you determine yourself to be a workaholic, take measures to ensure that you include some R&R in your daily planner, as well!

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