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  • Writer's pictureDhruti Soni

Work hard, Play hard

Women & Design // WID Insights

Working hard is easy, but playing hard can be a little tricky as you get older. With responsibilities flooding your daily activities, it can get overwhelming. But what if it were easy in an alternative universe? This year, I'm going to try my best to achieve a healthy balance to create a sustainable lifestyle, exclusive of burnouts, please!

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is a proverb we’ve all indefinitely heard. A quick Wikipedia search told me this proverb was first recorded as early as 1659!

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy.

The spirit of the proverb has been easily captured through its wording, but to embed its spirit in our daily lives has proven to be a little harder. I’ve always been taught to work hard but play harder - from high school to college. Without question, it was much much easier when we were kids. We used to have 3 mandatory slots after school, and within each, we were required to do physical activities and/or skill-building activities. When it came to college, life was a lot about work, assignments, and running on one cup of chai throughout the day. Any sort of “work-life” balance was thrown out the window!

However, no matter how intense and demanding university life was, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It truly trained me to handle a harsh workload and manage it in a way that would allow me to have a life outside of work. Of course, all I did was chase after more projects in the little free time I managed to find and keep myself busy. I think all creatives are ‘workaholics’. We’re addicted to creating! Probably a side-effect of turning your hoppy into your career, but hey - no complaints there.

In the past 2 years, however, I’ve been able to create a smaller but more consistent change of having a better work-life balance in my days. With work and play going hand in hand, it’s honestly been a change I’m grateful for. Yes, some days are more work while others may be more play, but they’ve been days I remember and smile when I think back upon. I managed to spend more time with loved ones, practice skills I’ve been meaning to develop, and even unwind and turn down when it’s needed. I recently took a rather large break from work (something I probably haven’t done in about 7-8 years), and it’s been so rewarding. The first couple of days were tough, funnily enough. I didn’t know how to not work. My days were weird, and I felt lost. The feeling eventually went away, like anything new, and it started becoming a new journey.

Distance makes the love grow fonder, they say. It does. I was so refreshed and excited to get back to work, design, and creativity. With newer experiences and a better understanding of what time-off can do for you - I’m keen to know how this would affect my year. I’m determined to travel more, gain more experiences, explore and observe a lot more and most definitely create more! I’m aiming to gain a better work-life balance and create a holistic approach that sustains in the long term, rather than one that calls for burnout every so often. Are there any tools, approaches, or practices you use that help you sustain a better work-life balance? I’d love to know. You can reach out to me on @minimalcacti, let’s have a chat!


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