The Art of Work-Life Balance

Not kidding, this is from a Saturday afternoon outside Houlihans when I had some work that needed to get done...
Not kidding, this is from a Saturday afternoon outside Houlihans when I had some work that needed to get done…

I have a confession…I’m a workaholic. I’ve been known to hold multiple jobs at one time, come in early/stay late and still feel like I need to give more. Working from home and getting email on my phone doesn’t make this any easier of a battle with myself. I’m technically always in the office and it makes the desire to respond to an email at 9pm on a Friday night or 11am on a Saturday morning very tempting! But I’m working on it and since I’ve found a few things that help make this easier, I wanted to share those with you today.

work life balance

1 – Turn off your work email nights/weekend – If you don’t see it, it can’t tempt you! Honestly, this has been HUGE for me. If I’m heading out the door to meet friends for dinner or drinks, I’ll shut off my work email on my phone. If I’m having a night in where I’m hoping to rest and relax, I turn it off. The reminder that if someone REALLY needed me, they all have my cell phone and in a real emergency, they should be calling me anyway.

2 – Give yourself boundaries – For me this has meant coming up with more rigid start/stop times for the day…or office hours, if you will. When you work from home, you’re always steps away from your office but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to have office hours too. Obviously there will be days when you need to start early or work late, but if you create those boundaries they should be fewer and far between!

3 – Make PLANS with friends/family – This is another big one for me! When I don’t have anything on the schedule for the day/evening, it’s easy to sit in front of my computer, browse the web, write a blog post, etc. When I see those emails from work start coming in, it’s really tempting to answer. When I make plans with my friends, I don’t want to be on my email all night and then I revert back to tip #1! :)

4 – Figure out what works for you and STICK with it – Whether it’s all the above tips, a few of the above or your own, figure out what works for you and stick with it. Remind yourself that having work-life balance helps keep you from getting burnt out and therefore makes you more productive when you’re “on the clock.” Trust me, you and your boss will appreciate this!

 

What are your top tips for maintaining work-life balance?

7 thoughts on “The Art of Work-Life Balance”

  1. I am too a workaholic. There’s always more than can be done but it’s important to set boundaries like you said. The work will always be there, your life won’t so it’s important to enjoy your free time! (And it’s important to also enjoy your work time which is something I’m working on, ha!)

  2. That first one is KEY. I’m having a hard time with that one as I’m a student now too and students work on projects at night. I’m going to try to set the precedent for not checking email after a certain time.

  3. E-mails can take over if you let them!! I have such a hard time with this one. Or I will just ignore my e-mail for a week which doesn’t help either. I think something that does help is checking phone/e-mail once every x hours (at a certain time) so you aren’t always switching from what you’re doing to answering e-mails. This works some days. :)

  4. These are all good tips! I just had to pull the “work email off” thing for my last vacation. Mostly because I knew I’d be drinking and didn’t want to respond a little too under the influence, but it was actually really refreshing.

    And shh … I haven’t turned it back on to “push” since. I’ve been back home a week :).

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