7 Tips For Balancing Work, Life, and Getting Outside

As seen on The Outbound Collective.

Never come down with another case of the Mondays.

There’s this great romantic divide between being a worker bee at a booming tech company and being an avid outdoor adventurer. Your work life and weekend life complement and contrast each other. There are commonalities between both and there are many, many differences.

It’s a fun challenge to maximize the 2/7 days of the week you get to spend away from your desk. Here are a few ideas to help.

1) Don’t let your weekends feel like work. Leave the stress at the office.

There’s nothing worse than beginning an outdoor getaway by shouldering a heavy backpack with the added weight of guilt, worrying, or stress leftover from a weekday dilemma. No matter how serious the issue seems between 9 to 5, a weekend adventure should give you the opportunity to momentarily lapse in these responsibilities and enjoy your time outside.

2) Unplug

We’re wired in all day – on standby to respond to emails, messages, phone calls, and more at the tap or swipe of a finger. So when you get the chance to disconnect from all of the buzzes, ringtones, and notifications that absorb your working life; take that chance.

Distraction-free adventures begin with a simple selection of the “Airplane Mode” function on your smartphone. You’ll still be able to capture the moment with your camera, without letting a text interrupt the perfect sunset shot. Plus, you’ll be conserving the battery life on your phone for up to a couple of days, which could be the extra safety measure that gets you back to your work desk in one piece.

3) Keep good company

Find a group of like-minded folks who are also driven to spend their weekends outdoors. It’s easier to look forward to a weekend full of faces you won’t see every day during the week. Plus, more people means more gear, trail stories, and camp food to share.

For the lone explorer, make your weekend time your “me time.” You spend every other moment during the week fostering connections and creating new ones – use your weekend as a chance to wander alone on a solo outdoor adventure.

4) Do something that scares you

You challenge yourself at work, you’re a go-getter, and your boss knows that you kicked ass on that last quarter-end project. But one thing you don’t get to do behind a desk every day is climb on the side of a cliff or scale a mountain. Let yourself get a little breathless on your weekends, add an edge to the Sunday scaries.

Whether it’s something that truly scares you, or just an activity that momentarily jars you from your everyday mundane, it’s good to do something that makes you feel alive and vulnerable once in awhile.

5) Never stop looking for new hobbies

Just like in your job, you’ll get bored if you’re performing the same task or visiting the same park weekend after weekend. Maybe you’re comfortable with the trails you know or pitches you’ve scaled, but without moving forward you won’t make any progress.

Discover new biking, running, and hiking trails by entering your city name at AllTrails or EveryTrail. Learn every detail about what it takes to summit the mountain on your horizon with SummitPost. Or, explore all kinds of new activities with The Outbound’s first-class search tool. Find something to get your imagination running during the workweek and be ready to push your limits by Saturday.

6) Help your office be eco-friendly

It will be all the more easier to return to your desk Monday morning when you’re working for a company that does good. Ask your team about their Social Corporate Responsibility principles, see where in your office you could improve recycling or electricity preservation. Work for a company that inspires greatness in their employees, and feel better about your work.

7) Find a flexible job that suits your lifestyle

This is the most important part of balancing your life outside of work and your career; with a job that makes sense for you. Find a field job that lets you take on flexible hours. Work at the crack of dawn so your afternoons become yours, or try to pack in your weekly hours into a couple of days to snowball your weekends.

When it comes down to it, money pays the bills, buys the gear, and funds the adventure. So find a job that suits you and what’s important for you, so you can keep exploring.

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