David Strittmatter

Work hard, play hard – how to find the right balance

Stress + rest = growth. This equation holds true regardless of what it is that you are trying to grow. ― Brad Stulberg, Peak Performance

Dear friend,

The past 2 weekends were intense.

Last weekend, I flew to Barcelona to spend some time with my friends; this weekend, I went to the World Club Dome festival together with my girlfriend.

After the weekend in Barcelona, I lost my voice for a few days as I took will.i.am’s “Scream and Shout” too serious. And during the 2 days of the festival, I collected a total of 100.000 steps (about 90 km walking equivalent) as I was dancing and jumping around like there was no tomorrow.

Normally, though, my weekends look different. They are work and chill. I create videos for my YouTube channel, write a blog post, work on other side projects, cook dinner with my girlfriend and go to bed early.

Life is all about balance. We cannot party 24/7, work 24/7, or chill 24/7. To make the most out of it, we have to experiment, finding the right mixture.

I love working (learning and solving problems). Since high school, I’ve spent most of my waking time doing so. So, most of my life has been and might always be lots of work.

But if you work a lot, you cannot always go hard.

There were times when I didn’t rest. I slept 3 hours so that I could go out and party a lot and still put in the hours to work. Caffeine was my best friend.

As you can imagine, that worked for a few months, but eventually, it drained all my energy.

Then, COVID came up. Suddenly, I couldn’t go out anymore. I had to spend more time resting. Simultaneously, I started to learn about the importance of sleep and rest. Books like “Why we sleep” or “Peak Performance” have a clear message: You won’t make the most out of life if you don’t rest accordingly; performance as well as happiness will suffer.

So, I started prioritizing rest over party and needed to learn to say “no” to a lot of things.

In today’s world, where we managed to regain the possibility to meet in masses and have fun together, I make conscious decisions about how to best spend my time. A few years ago, I said yes to almost every invitation I got. Today, it’s rather the opposite.

However, when I go out and party, I give my best to make it worthwhile.

To find the right balance for yourself, you have to experiment. First, though, you should make sure that you have enough rest, particularly 8 hours of sleep on average per day.

The following questions greatly help me to find my balance:

  • What activities do I enjoy most?
  • How much of those is enough?
  • How much of those is too little?
  • What can I do to have more of them?
  • What can I do to not overindulge?

I love partying. But as I want to make sure that I live a healthy life and have enough rest, I drink alcohol a limited number of times per year. Thereby, I force myself to not overindulge.

The same goes for other areas of life, too. I love working, but Thursday and Saturday evening is for my girlfriend. And there’s no week in which I had no conversation with someone of family.

If you struggle to find your balance, first, prioritize sleep, and second, answer these questions. I promise you, that will help for sure.

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