Balancing Work and Life

By Michele C. Hollow @YourCareE
September 06, 2023
Balancing Work and Life

If you want it all, it’s possible to have a successful career and a happy personal life. It just takes creativity and compromise to balance work and life.

Everyone wants to do a good job. Taking pride in your work and relationships drives people. Unfortunately, finding balance in life is difficult; the lines between the two have blurred.

Even people who telecommute are finding that, to stay competitive, they are encouraged to work extra hours. “I have my cell with me all the time, and I’ve taken calls when I’m out with my family,” said Ray Fine, an IT person who works for a large computer company. “My wife gets mad at me when I answer it after hours. She says that’s family time.”


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Fine has a good salary and is expected to put in overtime. He bills for those hours and, as a new dad, he’d prefer spending time with his wife and son. “It not always possible,” he said.

Balancing work and life

Despite being encouraged to put in overtime, it’s possible to separate work from your personal life. When you’re at your job, give it your best. When you leave the office, unplug. Turn off you cell phone. Or if you have it with you, avoid social media.

The same advice carries over to the office; if you do check social media, set a timer for 10 minutes and stick to it. Imagine how much more work you’ll get done without that distraction.

At the office and at home, make time to exercise. You can do so with coworkers, family members, or by yourself. You can even get a five-minute walk in at the office. If your office has a staircase, take a short break and climb up and down the stairs. Exercise can reduce stress and give you more energy.

You can schedule a yoga class or aerobic workout on your lunch hour. If your partner works nearby, try to arrange for both of you to attend a class. You’ll spend time together and unwind. Plus, taking breaks helps you recharge and return to work more alert and able to tackle the tasks piled on your desk.

Work smartly

It’s also smart to limit the amount of time you spend with toxic coworkers. Difficult people can make you sluggish and unhappy. “I worked part time at a newspaper office,” Tara Cohen said. “I learned that I had to stay away from the kitchen and water cooler. That’s where everyone gathered and gossiped. I was a novelty since I was there only part time. So, everyone wanted to talk to me. That meant, I couldn’t get my work done. I socialized for five minutes and then excused myself.”

Cohen also did her grocery shopping after work twice a week. “On the days when I had too much work and couldn’t plan dinner, either my husband cooked or I brought home takeout,” she said. “It’s essential to make work as easy as possible for me and to let those in my private life know that they come first.”

“I also made the choice of saying, ‘no’ at work,” she said. “I may not climb the corporate ladder as quickly as my coworkers, but that’s okay. I need to separate my work and home lives because, while I love my job, my family is much more important to me.”

Cohen doesn’t refuse all projects. She plans ahead and, when it’s possible, delegates to others. She recently got her company to hire college interns who work for school credit. “Other than the training time involved, the interns help out a lot making my job easier,” she said.


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September 06, 2023

Reviewed By:  

Janet O’Dell