The title of this weeks blog may be controversial to some, but I want to urge people to remember that it’s okay to have time away from work.
A lot of the time I have conversations with people and I say “How is life with you? How is work going?” And maybe 90% of the time the response is always “You know, same rubbish, different day”. I ask myself constantly, why is this the accepted normal?
Don’t get me wrong, I understand that we as people are largely driven by money and all that comes with it - a lovely lifestyle, big house, fancy car etc. Jersey is an expensive place to be, but we should remember to enjoy what’s important in life - make sure your head is a nice place to be in, make sure you’re happy, surround yourself with good people who enrich your life and be passionate about what you do.
Whilst I know there is a certain naivety to telling people to pursue their passions and worry about the other stuff later, people will always tell me, “No, I need to have at least a 3 bedroom house so I have to earn x amount. Oh I must get my food from Waitrose. Surely I need to have 3 holidays a year? What about the new iPhone that comes out next month?”. I want to challenge people to look deeper than these things. Will you survive eating from food from Morrisons instead? Will you be able to cope not eating out at restaurants twice a week but only doing it as a treat every now and then? Maybe you fly economy and don’t always stay in a 5 star hotel? If you calculated the cost of savings per year by doing the above alone I’m sure it would be mind blowing to see the figures!
I digress, all this leads me back to my main point. You shouldn’t have to work yourself into an early grave doing a job you may not even enjoy, simply to try to buy happiness with material things. One of the few things you can’t buy is time! What does your lifestyle cost you? Perhaps a 50 hour work week? A lot of stress and sleepless nights? Maybe these things combined affect your mental well-being? Reminder: Log Off!
The happiest people I have ever met have next to nothing, but they enjoy what they do, they manage their time well to allow them to enjoy time with loved ones, they exercise and take care of their health and the rest is all surplus.
I know how this sounds and perhaps I paint an extreme picture, I am also certainly not suggesting people give up their well paid jobs, but what I want people to focus on is does it make you happy? If money is your driver in life then fantastic, climb the ladder, work for as much overtime pay as possible, go for it! But consider your options, assess your expenses, value the right things - what will make you happy?
Remember, it’s okay to have a balanced lifestyle. It’s okay to value yourself, your health, your relationships, your time. Even if you’re not lucky enough to have your dream job and perhaps you don’t go skipping to work everyday, it’s not a bad thing to step away from the computer to take a break, to not work ridiculous hours, to have the weekends with your family. The world will keep spinning, and besides, if you can’t enjoy these things, what’s the point anyway? Reminder: Log Off!
I think Covid has made a lot of people reevaluate these things anyway. I myself have gone through this whole process. I’ve changed my career to be at Park which is why I am writing to you today. I took a pay cut, lost a senior title, turned down a competitive financial package in the Trust sector. Do I have any regrets, absolutely none - Because it just wasn’t for me, it didn’t make me happy. Yes, I can now buy less things, I’ve had to make certain cutbacks, but in my mind, I’ve made it. I am happy.