post by Stephanie Nelson
I’ve been thinking a lot about work life balance lately, for several reasons. I’ve been caring for an injured dog (plus another dog and a puppy). I’ve been working hard on a project I got a bit over my head on. My computer’s been dying a long, slow, painful death, and is at the point that I had to purchase its replacement today (despite my best efforts to limp it along until 2017). So all facets of life have been feeling a bit chaotic.
In the midst of all this, a friend of mine was featured in an article on Charlotte Agenda. As part of the interview, she was asked how she’s prioritized health and wellness in her career. Part of her answer was, “I work for a tech company but I leave at 5 o’clock and when I leave I don’t check email. I don’t got on social media until I’m back in the office the next morning. When I leave work, it stays at work.” I readily admit a felt a pang of envy in reading that, but I had to remind myself that she’s part of a team; she’s not out on her own like me. But it got my wheels to turning on how I could emulate that.
I’m a control freak and feel the need to know what’s going on at all times. (FOMO is my life.) So I haven’t quite gotten to the point that I can let go of checking email whenever my mind thinks about it. BUT…I have gotten better about not checking it as often. I’ve gotten better about not responding at all hours of the day/night/weekend – if it’s an emergency, I’ll respond; if not, I wait until the next business morning. If an email is really bothering me and I feel I need to respond but I don’t necessarily want to, I go ahead and type my response but use Boomerang to send it later. That way, it’s off my plate, so it can leave my mind and stop keeping me awake, but I don’t have to be anxious about getting a response right away.
Hopefully, making even minor changes like these in my work self will open up time on the life side of things for more of a work life balance. And I’m open to hearing what’s worked for others and try to implement those things, too. What’s worked for you? What’s given you more of a work life balance?