For this month’s blog linkup, Victoria and Meg have called bloggers to answer the question:
HOW DO YOU ACHIEVE WORK/LIFE BALANCE?
This is such a hot topic and, from what I’ve read, a real biggie for Gen Xs and Gen Ys. Those of us who fall into one of these categories are perhaps more interested in achieving work/life balance than any of other generation. I’m not a perfect example of someone who has completely succeeded with work/life balance, but these are some of the things I do to keep things in check.
I’m the type of person who takes on a whole lot. I like being involved, I like making important contributions to my work, I can’t seem to stop pushing myself education-wise, I don’t like missing events, and I like to be in-the-know. In general, I sort of compartmentalize my general activities (work, school, blogging, social time, relaxation time), so that I devote a certain amount of time to each activity. The areas can overlap, but if I keep the tasks in “boxes,” I feel like I can focus. While this organizational approach might make me inflexible (yes, it’s true), it also means that I ensure that I can more easily control where and how I devote my energy (at least I try).
Following up on the compartmentalization strategy, I regularly set time limits for my work/life tasks. Doing this forces me to accomplish what I need to accomplish. Blogging, for example, could easily take over every spare moment, but if I let it do so, I wouldn’t have time for any other work or leisure activities that I enjoy. I (generally) keep blogging time to first thing in the morning and the weekend (although it definitely does creep into various other times throughout each day and week!).
I am a believer in the power of The To Do List. I usually have one for each major part of my life – work, school, blogging, personal – and they help me stay organized (and balanced). There is no way I could remember everything that I have to do, want to do, need to buy, etc., without these lists. I generally keep daily to do lists, but I also plan out weekly lists (especially during busy times). There’s always an ongoing random list, too.
Vacation time, alone-time, and relaxation time are very important to me, and if I feel like I’m getting stressed, anxious, tired, or irritable, I try to make sure I have some of this time carved out into my week or month.
My friends and family live in various cities, and while I love to spend time with everyone, if I feel too overwhelmed with events and obligations, I simply have to say no. It’s not that easy to say no – especially if there are a lot of fun things going on – but if I say yes to everything and push myself in every direction, I will inevitably end up feeling cranky and scattered.
As with the other meetups, there are a lot of other bloggers weighing in on the work/life balance questions. Read what they have to say by clicking on these links:
The B Bar
26 and Not Counting
Soak and Simmer
The Not Quite Adult
Alyssa J Freitas
With Love From Ellie
Cake & Lilies
Feathers and Stripes
White Oak Creative
Perfect Enough for Us
Random Little Faves
Jacque Of All Trades
Girl for Granted
The Yuppie Flies
Something Good Blog
Emilie Lima Burke
Fit for a Bride Blog
A Little Leopard
Coral and Cognacs
Little Wild Heart
Boys and Bombshell
Previous blog linkup posts: January, February.
Excellent write up.
Good examples to follow
to achieve work/life balance.
Thanks. It’s always a work-in-progress.
I have such a hard time setting time limits because I just want to keep working, but it really is a good idea so you don’t let one area consume your life.
Alyssa J Freitas
I’ve heard of people who set alarms and reminders, but I’ve never gone that route.
Great tips for staying in check! Agree with you re: the power of no! It’s difficult to say (especially when we want to do it all!) but usually ends up helping more than hurting us.
Do you try it? Any other tips to share so that we can say no without feeling guilty?
Vacation time is such a valuable piece of advice. I’ve really struggled to stop working when I’ve taken vacations, and as a result, I come back, not as energized as I had hoped I would be. Thanks for sharing!
Exactly! I’ve done the same in the past, too. It’s just not a vacation if you’re always plugged in!
Saying no is really underrated. Whether it’s at work or a social obligation, sometimes it’s good to just know your limits.
Yes! It can definitely be a challenge, but remembering how you feel when you’re stretched to the limits might make it easier for the “no” to come out.
Yes for vacation time ðŸ™‚ It’s so important. I’ve noticed around my work that there is a certain badge earned when you don’t use it all at the end of the year or you don’t “need” to take your ‘personal day’. I think that’s crazy! They are there for your well-being and we should be taking every opportunity we’re presented with. We are, in the best sense of the word, entitled to them. Take it! ðŸ™‚
I agree. I don’t think there should be rewards for not taking a personal day. You can’t put your best work forward if you’re stressed or over-worked.
Being able to say no, and feel comfortable with it, is a big part of taking control over your work/life balance… well said!
It can definitely be a challenge! I really like to do things, but sometimes my work-life-social obligations are just too much. Saying no is the only option if I’d like to keep my sanity!
I like the idea of setting time limits. I often get laser focused on one project or multiple projects at one time and don’t really get much done so that I can go relax. This would definitely help that. Great tips!
Omg you’re a life saver! I’ve never thought of setting time limits…this will totally change how I organize my day. Thanks for the tips!
Love the compartmentalisation stragegy. How easy would it be to just blog all the time!! I know I could! xo
I’m such a huge fan of the to-do list! It’s ice to be able to get everything out of your head and into a nice orderly format.
So many of us in the linkup are to do list junkies. I don’t know how people live without them!
I also take on a lot – for me it’s definitely a Type A thing and wanting to be involved in everything. Also, love love love those little calling cards! Just perfect, I’d totally use them all the time.
They are cute, I agree!
Setting time limits is a great idea I haven’t tried! Will have to give it a go. ðŸ™‚ That’s why I like this topic so much – it’s about finding the techniques that work for you personally. I didn’t actually participate in the link up, but I loved the topic so much I’m posting about it today.
There are so many good posts, and I haven’t even read through all of them yet! I love that you wrote on the topic post-linkup. Next month, join in!