Possibly the thing I find hardest in children’s and youth ministry is setting boundaries between work and play. (Maybe that is because so much of my work feels like play; maybe because that is a false and unhelpful distinction, or maybe I am just full of poor excuses). My job isn’t a straight forward 9-5 job. It lacks consistency in hours, early morning assemblies mean an early start, yet clubs also mean a late night.

Bob links to a post from the 4-Hour Workweek Blog:

If you are so passionate about your work that you border on obsessed, you might find it near impossible to turn work off.

This is especially so in the web age, when you can stay connected no matter where you are, who you’re with, or what you’re doing. What do you do when suggestions like “work only during certain hours” and “don’t check email on evenings and weekends” just don’t seem to be enough?

Here are five more powerful tricks for keeping work in its place…

1. Choose flow-inducing hobbies that really engage you and pull your mind away from work. Flow is a sense of effortless engagement in what you’re doing. You’ll find it in activities that have clear objectives and challenge you just a bit beyond your current level of skill. What kind of hobbies can produce flow? Sports like skiing or martial arts, art like painting or pottery, games like poker or bridge, and puzzles like crosswords or sudoku are a few examples. Such activities will lure you away from work because, unlike passive activities like watching TV, they can provide the same sense of engagement and challenge that your work life offers.

3. Schedule dates with other people for non-work activities. For example, schedule a workout session with a personal trainer, arrange to meet a friend for happy hour after work, or make weekend plans with your friends or family to go hiking. Solo plans are easier to break in favor of work; if you have a commitment to another person you’ll be more likely to shut the laptop and mobile phone off.

Read the rest here
Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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