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The old proverb goes: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

To that, let’s add tired, stressed out, irritable, and no fun to be around with.

I’ve been there – especially in my younger years. When I founded my company, LRE & Companies, 25 years ago, a 40-hour work week was just the starting point, something I would burn through by midweek. So 60 or even 80 hours per week on the job – which meant I worked Saturdays and Sundays – was often par for the course.

Again, I was young and full of energy, and my focus was growing my real estate, construction and hospitality business. I have no regrets, but now that I’m older and have a family, I’ve learned to take a deep breath and enjoy life both in and out of work. All right, it helps that LRE & Companies is well established and I – and everyone else in the company – have learned to work smarter.

So now I preach for work-life balance, which essentially boils down to work hard, and then play equally as hard. It seems an easy enough concept, but one that might be hard to put into practice. As Americans, we are told that there is nothing we cannot accomplish if we work hard enough for it. The sky’s the limit, but you have to earn it. That is the American Dream.

So we work. And we work, and we work even harder. Soon enough, we forget the second half of the equation – the play part.

It’s understandable. The work part of our life is scheduled. We fight traffic and get to the office by 9 a.m., have lunch at noon, and clock out at 5 p.m. (if we’re lucky) and fight traffic one more time.

We need to schedule the play part as well.

Recently, there has been an emphasis on prioritizing our mental health. Athletes such as Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, NBA star Kevin Love and tennis champion Naomi Osaka have opened up about the struggles they have endured in the high-stress, competitive nature of competition. Actors Selena Gomez and Dwayne Johnson and singers Adele and Beyonce have similarly done the same.

And they often emphasize the need to step back, look at the bigger picture and prioritize what’s important. To me, play is a big part of the solution.

So go ahead and reserve a table at your favorite restaurant for a Friday date night with your wife. Take the kids out for double scoops of ice cream. Meet up with friends in Napa or Sonoma for some wine-tasting. Drive up to Tahoe to breathe in the fresh air. Turn off your cell phone.

Personally, those are some of my favorite ways to find my balance. I refuse to be that dull boy.