“You can’t do a good job if your job is all you do.” – Katie Thurms
Many people spend hours of each day working. Their professional life takes up most of their time and might often interfere with their personal lives, because of the demands it brings. It’s important to think about what you can do to maintain a good balance between work and everything else.
The first thing to consider is that the balance will rarely be a perfect 50-50 split. Sometimes, work demands more of you; other times, your family, hobbies, health, and other things will require attention and additional time. However, if the balance always favors one side, it’s something to consider.
Next, you need to ask yourself if there are good boundaries set between work time. Do you reply to messages or check your email at home. Some jobs require this, but others do not. Can you disconnect from work more than you’re doing now?
Another strategy is to say no. You get to say no to additional requests and additional time. You get to decide what matters to you. Sure, not all jobs allow this, but if your workplace never lets you say no, it’s not a good place to be.
The next step is to ensure that you are taking good care of your needs. Are you sleeping and eating enough? Are you giving yourself time to spend with friends and family, to relax and practice the things you enjoy? Consider whether your life and work need a boost from a better routine. Ensuring you feel good is a great way of doing your best at work and enjoying your leisure as much as you can.
Often, favoring work earns you shot-term gains, like a better reputation or a bonus. However, you need to make sure that you are not losing out on long-term benefits, like strong relationships, better health, satisfaction with your personal achievements. You may need to prioritize work sometimes, but not every time.
Achieving a balance doesn’t mean creating a perfect split between your life and your work. Often, it’s about having these aspects nurture each other and help each other, rather than just see them as two totally different things. Your work is a part of life that can bring you resources and fulfillment. But you get to decide how much space you want to give it beyond your work hours and whether you want it to be more or less a part of your life.