Work Hard, Play Hard

productivity May 20, 2023
Work Hard, Play Hard

In this era, we glorify hustle culture. We convince people to wake up earlier, work more, and give up more enjoyment, all in the name of success. This is a flawed premise. Although it's important to be productive, you need to have the mentality of 'work hard, play hard.'

If you spend all your time working and no time unwinding, you'll eventually snap. You want to be as careful as possible to avoid a potential meltdown.

The best medicine is preventive medicine. If you can prevent yourself from working too hard, then you will prevent the disastrous effects of burnout.

For anyone aiming for their goals, it's important to work hard and play hard. Here are two reasons for following this philosophy.

1. Greater Quality of life

It's no secret that being able to relax improves the enjoyment of life. It's also no secret that relaxing with friends and family makes it even more enjoyable. Although life isn't about only pleasure, we must all find the balance. If you're working too hard, you can't find that balance.

Contrary to popular belief, you actually need work in your life to have a fulfilling life. However, you don't need hustle culture levels of work to find that fulfillment.

Life fulfillment is a combination of enjoyment and work. Without these two in balance, your life will feel off.

The biggest way to enjoy life more is to know yourself better. If you know what you enjoy relaxing with, then you know exactly how to unwind.

The problem most people run into today is that they don't know themselves that well. They don't know what they like to relax with, they just follow the crowd.

These people end up doing things that they don't actually like doing, but they want to fit in so they do it. This is a recipe for misery.

To really play hard, you must know what kind of play you like. This requires you to dig into yourself and find it.

Once you've found it, stick to it and find others who also enjoy that kind of play. Surround yourself with people who you can play hard with.

2. Avoiding burnout

Although I've already mentioned burnout in the introduction of this post, it's such an important topic that I want to go into detail here. Burnout is the worst thing possible to happen to somebody trying to get good work done. No matter what you try, you can't convince yourself to do any more work. You want to avoid this overload at all costs.

As mentioned before, you need to find a balance in life between work and play. Both are necessary for life fulfillment, but going too hard on either is not good for you.

Going too hard on work without taking breaks will lead to burnout. Not could, not might, but will. Burnout is real and you don't want to find out about it for yourself.

It's for this reason that you want to limit the scope of your work. This allows you to avoid burnout while still getting the important work done on time.

The easiest way to do this is to follow the Pareto principle. Only stress over the 20% of effort that brings the 80% of results.

This helps to prevent burnout by making sure that you only stress over the most important stuff. By only worrying about the important tasks on your list, you can focus on unwinding once you finish those tasks. 

Limiting stress and strain is vital in order to unwind and play hard. Limiting the scope of your work is vital for ensuring the greatest returns on the effort you put into your work.

Put these two together, and you have your preventive medicine for stopping burnout.

Assets for quality of life

The most popular definition of an asset is something that puts money in your pocket. If this is the only definition you stick to, then everything that takes money out of your pocket would be considered a liability.

This kind of mentality will limit the amount of things that you can use to find pleasure in life. Most of life's pleasures have a price tag attached to it. There's nothing wrong with spending on yourself every once in a while.

The key, however, is to do it every once in a while. You must find the balance between work and play, or you will stagnate indefinitely.

- Karl