by Matt Alderton | May 24, 2018
If you're like most people these days, you work too much. And when you work too much, it's hard to make time for fun. At times, that probably means your life is missing that extra "oomph" that makes you leap out of bed, excited to face the day.
"The inner dialogue that tries to balance productivity and fun can be frustrating," says contributor John Rampton. "When you spend lots of hours at the office and absorb constant stress, time for yourself isn't easy to come by. It can feel like the only way to have more fun is by sacrificing work, and the only way to do better at work is to sacrifice fun."

Although you might feel trapped between a rock and a hard place, there are ways to wiggle free, according to Rampton. "No matter how trapped you might feel," he says, "there are steps you can take to enjoy the best of both worlds."

The first of those steps is learning to practice "presence." "Practicing presence is one of the essentials to a more enjoyable life. When you let yourself be completely immersed in a given situation, you'll be able to fully absorb the positives. If your mind is focused on work while you're out with friends, on the other hand, then even time that's supposed to be relaxing is not entirely enjoyable," Rampton explains. "Presence is an extremely challenging skill, but being able to clear your mind is the key. Breathing exercises, meditation, and conscious awareness of your thoughts will help you work toward greater levels of presence, and you'll improve over time with practice."

Looking for something a little more concrete? Easy: Do fewer things alone.

"There are many things we do each day that would enable us to include others. Often, though, we choose not to because extending an invitation sounds like effort or creates some other small inconvenience. Think of how often you go out to eat, exercise, or watch sports by yourself," Rampton says. "It takes just a few seconds to send a quick text seeing if someone wants to join you in an activity. Sending that text can result in sharing that experience with someone, killing two birds with one stone: You get to see someone you enjoy while doing something you've been looking forward to, heightening the pleasure of both."

More Tips:

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?
Contact Successful Meetings Editor in Chief Vincent Alonzo with your "How To" ideas.