Today I'm linking up with The B Bar and several other bloggers to share my thoughts on work-life balance. This month's link up topic could not have come at a better time. As I approach my 3 year post graduation anniversary, work-life balance is something that is becoming increasingly important to me. I realize that 3 years into the "real world" isn't long, or much of a milestone to celebrate, but in a way it is because I'm beginning to think more about my future and where I want my career to go in the next 5 years. Five years ago, all I was really thinking about were what bar I wanted to go to Saturday night. Five years can make quite the difference.
Work-life balance is sort of tricky notion to achieve because what exactly is work-life balance? Is it a literal balance of working half your life and living the other half, is it finding that area where the work that you do is what you want to spend your life doing, or is it simply just getting through? Personally, I think it's hard to define, because it really comes down to how you interpret the phrase. To me, work-life balance is not something that just falls into your lap, but something that you have to create. It's not an actual balance of the two, but more of the ability to allow yourself to live life without the stress and worry of work on your mind.
Life Modifier isn't just a quirky name for this space, but more of a state of mind that I live by and I think more people should live by. I truly believe that life is what you make it, and if you want a life that is that "balance" of work and life, well, then you have to create that. No one is going to hand it to you.
I have a full time job in marketing outside of this blog. It can be demanding, it can be hectic and it can be stressful. Don't get me wrong, I love my job; but, I'll never work myself until I am unhappy because when I become unhappy, that is when I am no longer an asset.
I like to think that for someone in their 20's I've found a pretty great work-life balance. I realize that I have little responsibility in life right now; no kids, no husband, no pets and limited bills, but I still believe that for my own sanity work-life balance needs to exist. If I make this standard for myself now, I'll be able to make it more of a priority when life does hand me a whole bunch of lemons. Then again, maybe I'm just in for a rude awakening.
Obviously, creating a work-life balance is something that has no cookie cutter formula. What works for me isn't going to work for everyone else. I'm lucky to have a manager who understands the importance of work-life balance, but also has expectations that I need to meet. I know everyone isn't that lucky and that everyone's job situation is slightly different but below are a few of the ways I create the perfect work-life balance for myself.
- I don't take long vacations. I'm a big fan of mini trips. I like a weekend here and weekend there to refresh and relax. Longer trips are great, but often exhausting to plan and expensive. Mini trips are the perfect amount of time to give you a needed break and set you back on track.
- I rarely check emails on the weekends. My mentality behind this is that if there is a work emergency, then someone will call me. So much of my week is spent at work, so I allow myself the weekends to reset and be ready for whatever Monday brings.
- I take a lunch break. I am not a person who can sit in front of a computer screen for 8 hours straight without a break. I use lunch as an opportunity to go run an errand, take a walk outside or around the office or to occasionally watch a quick episode of my favorite show. You're given a lunch break for a reason, use it.
- I have friends outside of work. It's easy to become friends with the people you work with. You spend the majority of your day with them, but I also think it's important to have friends outside of work too and expand your network.
- I work out. Find something to invest your free time outside of work in. For me, I take a spin class and a boot camp class each week. Both classes are right after work and they allow me to instantly focus my mind on something else.
How do you achieve work-life balance?
Be sure to check out these bloggers below and see what they have to say about work-life balance.