Blog with Joel Brookman

Balancing Work and Play | Joel Brookman

Years ago I had a colleague who was incredibly disciplined when it came to saving for his future.  Bruce made sacrifices throughout his entire working life so that he could live the retirement of his dreams. On his 65th birthday he retired. One week later he was diagnosed with cancer. Six months later he was gone. His wife lived a few more years and after her death the children inherited everything. Unlike their parents they took the “live now” attitude to a whole new extreme. They spent their parents hard earned money on luxury cars and lavish vacations. When the money ran out, they realized that they never took care of their children’s education, paid down their mortgage, or saved anything for the future.

In last week’s blog we discussed the concept of balance in life. This is a clear example of the extremes. So I ask you, how can you strike the balance between work and play?

Hard work is wonderful especially if it’s financially rewarding and brings you enjoyment. The question is, what do you do with your money when you receive it? Are you like Bruce who saved every dime for the future, or are you more like Bruce’s children who live entirely for the moment?  While it is important to have a comfortable retirement, you also need to enjoy the ride along the way. The realization is that your future is not guaranteed, but the statistics suggest that most of us will live well into our 70’s and beyond.

I find that if I fail to plan an activity and block time for it, it will not happen for me. My work will absorb every moment I have, if I allow it.  The key is to plan the things that are important for you, block the time and take advantage of vacation time. I spent the majority of my career not taking full advantage of the bulk of the vacation days that were allotted to me. I simply failed to plan or felt guilty about taking the time. I have come to find that the time away permits me to reflect and appreciate what I do at work every day. Stepping away also allows me the opportunity to see things from a different perspective. I can step off the hamster wheel and reflect on what is important both in business and in life. When I return I find that I am far more productive than when I left. The other benefit is that it gives me an opportunity to bond with my wife and children.  This pays tremendous dividends far into the future.

This week’s homework is to identify something you want to do, block the time and make the arrangements. Strike the balance between work and play!

Posted by Joel Brookman in Adjust Your Sails, Direct Your Life, Plan your life, Uncategorized and tagged , , .


Join the discussion by commenting below!