The people you choose to be with are a strong predictor of what you value and how you live.
As I wrote in the last post, a shift in identity will start you down the path towards a balanced life.
However if everyone around you is bragging about how many events they missed because of work, eventually your hours will start to creep back up. To make the changes last, you’ll need a community of people to support you.
First and foremost, if you’re in a relationship, you’ll want to get on the same page with your partner. Does he/she support people-first values? Most of the time, they’ll be thrilled to have you around more. And if you are both on email till midnight together every night, you can start to make the change together. For example, checking email during dinner can be a pernicious habit. But, it is also is a clear behavior that is easy to modify if phone free time together is the priority.
However, if getting a new BMW every year is the most important thing to your partner, they may not support your change in priorities. Mismatched values like this are a red flag for the relationship. Some people work long hours as a way to avoid an unhappy relationship. Could this be you?
And whether or not you’re in a relationship, you’ll need people outside the family to support your change. One great place to begin is by finding a weekly activity to bring you out of the office. I’ve known many people who picked up a class or joined a team just as a way to get out of the office. There, they met their future spouse.
If you are at in Tuesday night volleyball league, everyone else there has decided not to work and to spend time on volleyball too. This is a great place to get to know people who don’t talk about work all the time.
Finally, be on the lookout for a community opportunity, meaning that if someone invites you to do something, say yes! A mindful approach to develop contacts outside of the workplace will increase your flexibility, and decrease any emotional dependency on the work pseudo-community.
What has your experience been with getting out of the office?
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