How I Achieve Work/Life Balance

I’m super excited to share this post with ya’ll for a few reasons today. (1) Work/life balance is SO important. + (2) I’m linking up with one of my favorite IRL blogging friends, Victoria, from The B Bar.

First + foremost – let me just preface this post by saying that this is what works for me. I was contemplating writing a post on “how to achieve work/life balance”, but I feel like the definition of it varies for everyone. How I feel balanced may actually feel like chaos for you, and visa versa. But all of that is okay – I’ve personally set a 6 rules for myself to ensure that I have some level of work/life balance in my life every day.

1. One free weekday evening and one free weekend day. 

This rule ensures that I have time to recoup and relax in my space. I love spending time doing a whole bunch of nothing in my Harlem studio apartment. During this time, I try my best to stay off of my computer, unless I am journalling, and zone out with a good cup of tea… and occasionally some takeout. I read, I nap, I watch movies or catch up on TV shows that I missed, and I just enjoy the time to myself. 

Sure, sometimes I bring out the bleach and start giving my space a deep cleaning, but I kind of like the feeling of relaxing in your space after you’ve cleaned everything and feel like there is nothing else to do. 

2. Limit cell phone use from 10pm – 7:30am. 

This is a hard one, but it makes me feel SO good to be disconnected from everyone and everything. I have a few numbers that are set as “priority” so I will receive an alert if those folks call – but everyone else goes unanswered until the morning commute to work. 

I do find myself grabbing my phone to check when I’m still up past my bedtime, but because I have this rule, it makes me much more conscious and I tend to feel a bit guilty. 

3. Turn off all social media notifications. 

Being a blogger can make you a slave to social media. Seriously?! If I kept all of my alerts on, I would always be distracted and feel like I need to be tweeting, hash-tagging, chatting, liking, or snapping something. Sure, I enjoy it somedays, but that forces me to take in and expend a bunch of energy outward. Sometimes, I need to be able to think and concentrate on a task without having a notification disrupt my thoughts. 

I especially love that my phone, the LG G3, only has a little light that flashes for notifications vs having the entire screen flash. Therefore, if I am not looking at my phone, then I won’t see anything. Hell, I even put it face down on my desk at work so I can concentrate.

911

4. In reference to my 9-5… work happens at work, not at home. 

I know some people may not have this luxury, but when I leave the office. I leave the office. Do not call me unless it’s an emergency, delayed opening, snow day, or something like that. 99.999999% of everything can be done between the hours of 9am-5pm. While I sync my calendar to my phone so I can see what I have planned, I turned off notifications for my work email. I would delete it all together since my job doesn’t pay for my phone, but it’s easier to send an email out when I have to call in sick, and I hate having to do the whole verification process every time I delete it or get a new phone.

Additionally, I believe that this sets expectations for my clients and coworkers. If I am sending out emails on Saturdays and after 5pm on a regular basis, people start to expect it! My clients and coworkers know, when I’m off, I’m off. If you need me, you need to text me or call – and it should be an emergency. 

5. In reference to blogging + coaching. 

Since I’m still working a 9-5 job, I try my best to batch my schedule so I can have time away from blogging and coaching clients. I take client coaching calls on 2-3 nights per week, and the other 2-3 days I work on developing more content. I also bring my iPad to work so I can type out blog posts on my lunch break and keep a running list of ideas in case I have writer’s block. 

I also give myself a break when needed. I used to struggle and beat myself up when I missed a day of blogging, but not I try not to sweat it. Sure, if it’s paid work… I’ve got to get it done someway, somehow. But for everything else, I try to take my time and plan ahead. I also LOVE the EPIC BLOG: One-Year Editorial Planner – planning ahead gives me time to prepare and enjoy blogging a bit more. 

6. I give myself permission to have fun and let anything go that doesn’t feel good. 

Sometimes you have to let go of what stresses you out to achieve balance {and sanity!}. This could be relationships, work commitments, meetings, projects – anything extra that is stressing me out can go/be postponed, ect. The key here is extra though – cause if I let it all go, I’ll be homeless. lol

HOW DO YOU ACHIEVE WORK/LIFE BALANCE?

 

And here are the other peeps in the link up!

The B Bar // 26 and Not Counting // Rae Loves // Sarah Hartley // Carrie Loves // Soak and Simmer // The Not Quite Adult // White Cabana // PreppyPanache // LiskaMonet // Alyssa J Freitas // Rossetto // With Love From Ellie // Cake & Lilies // Feathers and Stripes // Leigh Clair // White Oak Creative // Life Modifier // Perfect Enough for Us // Random Little Faves // Jacque Of All Trades // Business Betties // Girl for Granted // Alicia Tenise // The Yuppie Flies // It’s Droolworthy // Something Good Blog // Elana Lyn // Forth Chicago // Emilie Lima Burke // Fit for a Bride Blog // A Little Leopard // Coral and Cognacs // Little Wild Heart // It’s Julien // Boys and Bombshell // Meg Biram // Victoria McGinley

Leave a Comment

45 Comments

  1. Katheryn says:

    Great advice for turning notifications off on the phone. I did that too when I noticed that I got too obsessed with my phone and while driving. Sometimes I even turn my phone off completely to enjoy family time.

    4.28.15 · Reply
    • It’s crazy how much turning off a phone can help, right? I do the same when I go home to visit my family or if I’m on a date.

      4.29.15 · Reply
  2. I became aware of the overuse of my cell phone. Since over a year ago I learned to put it face down so I don’t see the blinking light from notifications. Now I just need set a time to get off of it at night! Thanks for this great post πŸ™‚

    4.24.15 · Reply
    • You are very welcome, Edith! The auto silent/priority mode is a game changer for me!

      4.27.15 · Reply
  3. Eric says:

    Thanks for idea #5. Managing my time has been my weakness all these years. I hope the book will help me. It’s nice to have a structured content strategy throughout the year.

    4.23.15 · Reply
    • Glad I could help! It’s really helped me a lot. πŸ™‚

      4.23.15 · Reply
  4. Ellie says:

    I love your 1 free weekday evening and 1 free weekend day policy. Absolutely agree! Thanks!

    4.22.15 · Reply
  5. Katrina says:

    I schedule EVERYTHING lol

    4.22.15 · Reply
  6. Work/life balance has taken on a whole new meaning to me now that I am a stay-at-home mom. I still work on my blog but my real job is taking care of my son and that is 24/7! I like the idea of totally unplugging one weeknight and one weekend day.

    4.22.15 · Reply
    • Awww – that’s so true. Mommy work comes first. πŸ™‚

      4.23.15 · Reply
  7. Cassandre says:

    worklife balance for me varies from week to week. I have so much work to do in that area. one thing I have been trying to do is going to bed early. I notoriously go to bed really late and it effects my overall energy so I pick a few nights to try and go to be early. I have also been incorporating stress management tactics at work to help manage my work craziness. i definitely need to get better about disconnecting on social media and my phone at night.

    4.22.15 · Reply
    • Don’t we all – it’s so easy to get sucked in and before you know it, you’re working in bed instead of reading and decompressing. SMH – it’s a slippery slope. Some days I wish I had the old Nokia phone. lol

      4.22.15 · Reply
  8. Hi Kimberly, What fantastic advice! A healthy work/life balance is hard to juggle and you’ve provided some wonderful tips that many of us can relate to. We’ll happily share them with our community!

    4.22.15 · Reply
  9. I really need to do better at putting my phone away! When im supposed to be relaxing it only takes one notification to put me right back into work mode πŸ™

    4.22.15 · Reply
    • Same here – that’s why I had to turn ’em off! I can’t resist when they are all on.

      4.22.15 · Reply
  10. Lindsay says:

    I turned off social media notifications, and I’ve made a point to keep my cell phone in a different room when I’m working. It has been a huge increase to my productivity!

    4.22.15 · Reply
    • I need to try the different room strategy. That would really force me to unplug even more. Thanks for the tip!

      4.22.15 · Reply
  11. Letting go is such a hard thing for me to do, but you are right that if it stresses you out, it isn’t worth it!

    Alyssa J Freitas

    4.22.15 · Reply
    • Letting go is really difficult – but I always feel so good when I do!

      4.22.15 · Reply
  12. Turning notifications off was a game changer for me! And I definitely lay my phone face first when at my desk so I’m not distracted by texts πŸ™‚ Yes, yes, yes to letting things go that don’t feel good! Life is way too short to be fill your time with these types of things (and sometimes people).

    4.22.15 · Reply