What I am about to admit is a common expression, but I wouldn't be so bold as to speak for anyone else. What I can say is that when it comes my time to depart this wonderful world, I can promise you that I will not look back on my life and wish that I spent more time working at my job. Rather, it will be the leisure time spent and memories made with friends and family that I will wish I had more of...the holidays, the adventures, the laughs and even the cries.
The catch, however, is that very few people can afford to enjoy life's leisure 100% of the time. And even if someone could afford it from a monetary standpoint, they might not want to.
Working at a job provides a level of purpose and achievement that is very important in rounding out the "whole" person. But be careful, too much time wrapped up in work can negatively impact your happiness and your health. So, the key is to find the proper work/life balance that keeps everything in your life in harmony. That proper work/life balance will be unique to each individual person.
It is my belief that humans, by nature, aim to please. We want to say "YES" to most things. Saying "NO" can sometimes feel mean or hurtful for some strange reason. But saying "YES" to everything is a sure-fire way to get yourself overworked and run down. It can lead to missed deadlines, lack of productivity, decreased quality of work and strained relationships. You should always be protective of your time and energy.
"If you want something done right, you need to do it yourself." We have all heard this common saying. But is it true? Not only is it not always true, but the notion can be very dangerous. Piling on yourself can have negative effects on many levels. You need to learn to delegate. Let those around you share your load, oftentimes that's what your colleagues are there for. There will be some trust involved in doing so, but that is ok. Learn to let go of the reins of control. It will do you good.
Few things in life are more important than our friends and family. Who would be there for you if everything came "crashing down", God forbid? It would probably be your family and closest friends. Keep those important relationships strong by giving your time and showing up when it matters. Without the proper work/life balance, you might find a deterioration of those relationships.
Learn to unwind outside of work by doing whatever it is that you like to do. Go out to dinner, a party, or perhaps a ballgame. Don't be afraid to have some fun. Your work will be right there waiting for you. I would also recommend having some friends outside of your work circle. Expand your network. Doing so might really help you take a break from all the work talk if need be.
Get away. You do not have to go far, or for very long, but leaving town for a bit can help you gain some perspective and recharge your batteries. See a new place if you're so inclined, explore and/or relax!
When you have left the building and you are outside of your regular work hours, do your best to turn your attention toward other things in your life. Put your phone away and do not check your work email every ten minutes. Being away from work physically is not enough. You need to get away mentally as well for a good part of each day.
Physical and mental health should be a high priority in your life. Work should never get in the way of that. Continue to exercise, meditate, eat well and drink alcohol in moderation (or not at all). Anything that adds joy and value to your life is usually something that you should incorporate more of in your life. There are 24 hours in a day. Use them wisely!
The ultimate goal is to find a job that you love. But even if you do, you still need to step away from it from time to time. You still need to maintain a good work/life balance. The benefits of good work/life balance are improved health and happiness, for yourself and the people in your life.