This might sound ridiculous, but I have to schedule social time into my weeks. Not just because I’ve been setting boundaries to have Wednesdays and Sundays off, but also because if I don’t schedule spending time with my friends and family… it doesn’t happen.
I’ve been very diligent in cultivating morning and evening routines, and they’ve helped me as a professional and as a human, but doing the same thing every single day gets boring. It also can be unhealthy. Humans are social creatures, and even though I’m personally an introvert, my energy starts to flag if I haven’t had enough social time.
Scheduling social time also takes into account the busy and differing lives of my friends and family. I have friends that sleep until 5:30am like me, but I also have friends who sleep until 1pm sometimes. We have night shifts and day shifts and swing shifts, and so having a degree of flexibility is important to keep those relationships strong and healthy.
This flexibility means that sometimes I quit work early for the day so that I can grab dinner with a friend, or dedicating a few hours in the morning for brunch with family. That’s why, in setting my own hours, I give myself a working window /plus/ limited flexibility to account for social time. Remember, just because you’re a working professional doesn’t mean that’s all you are. You’re a human, and sometimes the best thing you can do for your work performance is to not work at all.
What do you think? How do you approach social time? Is it as hard for you as it is for me? Let me know in a comment!