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December 2, 2022

Do You Work to Live or Live to Work?

How often are you told you work too much? Forty hour weeks are a thing of the past in the accounting world. Instead, 50 is the new 40 and 60 or 70 is more common.

Working 60 plus hours a week, and traveling on top of it, can make having a happy home life very challenging. Your spouse, parents or children wonder whether you have a second family or second home.

Do you live to work? Or, do you work to live?

Examine your life and you can determine which. Ask yourself the following questions. If you have more "No" answers than "Yes" answers, then you are doing well and working to live.

1. Do I work at the office (or a client location) more than 50 hours a week?

2. Do I work from home each evening?

3. Do I work most weekends?

4. Do I check my work email on my phone outside of business hours?

5. Do I eat dinner with my family fewer than three times a week?

6. Do I check my work email before anything else after waking each morning?

7. Do I exercise fewer than 2 times a week?

8. If I take vacation, do I bring my laptop with me?

9. Did I work the week after my child was born?

10. Do I consider attending my child's extracurricular events as being the only necessary family events to attend?

These are 10 of many questions you could ask yourself to determine if you work to live or live to work.

Which is better? Is one better or worse than the other? No, not really. It depends on your goals, ambitions and season of life. They both can be good. They both can be bad.

Instead of deciding to work to live or live to work, however, challenge yourself to just live.

Work is a part of your life. Accept that as reality. It is not separate from your life. It's a major part of it.

Here are several ways you can change your mindset so you can enjoy your life:

1.     Have dinner with your family (before 9 p.m.)

2.     Take your kids to school every now and then

3.     Make breakfast for the family (or at least eat with the family)

4.     Have a guys’ or girls’ night out once a quarter

5.     Go on frequent dates with your spouse

6.     Read a book

7.     Train for a 5k or half marathon

8.     Surprise the family by being home before 7 p.m.

9.     Work remotely when you can

10.  Laugh more often

11.  Treat your employees to lunch

12.  Stand at the water cooler and actually talk for a while

Don’t you want to have a fulfilling life? Enjoy everything you do and don't let one thing dominate your life except for enjoying it.

You can enjoy your work (yes, even public accounting). You can enjoy your family. You can enjoy your hobbies. You can enjoy it all.

Life is way too short to work to live or live to work. Live! That's it. Start now.

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