A few days ago, my boyfriend looked at me, sighed and said, “I pretty much have zero work/life balance.”
It is totally true (that’s just the nature of his current situation, and we at least take solace in the fact that it shouldbe sort of temporary) but I felt bad hearing this nonetheless, because I’m a person who has gone to great lengths to keep my work life and my personal life well balanced and at least somewhat separate (which, trust me, is easier said than done when you work from home on your computer — when work is portable, you pretty much always could be at work, so you need to set a lot of boundaries). But after hearing him say this, I realized that there are things you can do — even small, hardly-noticeable, day-to-day things — that will make your work-life feel a little bit more like your real-life, so you don’t feel like you’re switching on-and-off between two totally different lives and personas every day. Work is an important part of your life, and in my opinion, shouldn’t be totally separated, but rather integrated in a way that allows for fluidity and balance between the two.
So instead of the traditional “Work from 9-to-5 then give yourself a hard stop and pretend your job doesn’t exist until 8:59am tomorrow morning” rules, I’ve been thinking about the other (more realistic, imo) ways I find the balance between my work and all of the other pieces of my life. If you’re finding yourself in a difficult balancing act between what you do for money and what you do for everything else, these tips might help you even things out.
1. Bring a little “life” into your workday.
It is not always going to be possible to eliminate work from your non-work life, but something you can do is inject bits and pieces of your non-work life into your workday. This can range from bringing a few pictures of friends and family to sit at your desk, taking small walks outside of your workplace to parks or cafés you like going to in your personal life, listening to a playlist of music you love at your desk, etc. For me, even something as simple as wearing a warm hoodie or sweater that I love makes me feel comfortable and “at-home” even when I’m at work. Anything that reminds you that you are a whole person outside of your role at work will help you feel a little more balanced and comfortable during workdays that feel neverending.