Monday, December 28, 2015

6 Tips for Creating Work/Life Balance
(Trust Me, You Can Do It!)

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With the new year approaching, I'm getting ready to dive into it with a fresh start. An important resolution for me is practicing work/life balance. Over a few years, I'm learning how to let go of things I can't control and embracing rest. I used to toss and turn over work-related issues and worked myself to the bone to try and resolve it after hours. But in the end, I just ended up being burnt out and it showed in my work as well. I learned that taking breaks are not only good, but necessary.

Also, I understand that everyone's job is different and some need extra hours put into it after work and that's okay! These may not all work together for you, but hopefully you'll be able to find the right work/life balance in your life with these suggestions.


If you can, leave your computer at the office before you head out. This way, you won't even be able to cave when you're tempted to get a little bit of work done at home. I understand every job is not the same and every week is different, but if you can, nip the temptation in the bud by cutting it off at the source. What happens at the office, stays at the office.


It's second nature for me to pull up my phone the second I walk through the door of my apartment. But I have to keep reminding myself, don't! You've left the office, your work is done. Take at least 30 minutes (yes, a whole 30 minutes!) to just unwind. Cook dinner or catch up with your roommate/spouse/significant other. Maybe even try a digital detox for a few hours each night – switch your phone to silent or "do not disturb" mode. I've even gone so far as to change the settings in my mail app so the only way to retrieve my emails is to open it. There are plenty of ways to help curb the urge to check your inbox.


For those of you reading now and are looking at me like I'm totally insane, here's where I meet you in the middle. :) If you absolutely need to check your email when you get home, type up your response and schedule it to be sent later. That way you're still getting some work done! If you don't have this functionality, just save it as a draft, but don't send it. (Saving as a draft may even be better, because you might not be in the best state of mind when responding!) By sending emails after hours, it gives clients the impression that this the norm and they can expect this level of availability all the time.


Which leads my to my next point... work does not define you. While I do think it's important to do your best in your job, I don't think that it should control you to the point where it holds your self-worth. This was a hard pill for me to swallow because it's so easy for me to place all my value in what I do and it's hard to accept failures. But I'm not perfect, so why should I expect myself to be? At the end of the day, I just remind myself that work = work, work ≠ life.


A friend once told me that the first thing they did in the morning was respond to a few emails before they even got out of bed because they felt pressured to respond right away. But in reality, what's another hour or two going to do? Why should people expect a response when the work day hasn't even officially started? Don't sweat it and remember that no one is going to get upset about getting a response at 8:30 AM vs. the crack of dawn.


Weekends are here for a reason, so let's enjoy them! You're not being rudely awakened by an alarm, you're not going into the office, and you don't have to answer to a client's beck and call. Why stress yourself out over something you don't need to do in that moment? Here's my advice, just don't check it. There's no point. I've learned this the hard way many times, stressing every minute of the day wondering how I'm going to fix something. But I couldn't! You can't solve any problems then and your clients and co-workers are off the clock too. So soak up those 48 hours of freedom, you've earned it!




  1. yes! Agree! I just want a simpler life, dial everything back because when you do, you get so much more from life.

    1. Absolutely! I've definitely been able to get a better handle on my work/life balance throughout this year and hope that it'll only continue in 2016.

  2. These are all great!
    I usually get on the computer after work a lot but only to blog haha.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

  3. "By sending emails after hours, it gives clients the impression that this the norm and they can expect this level of availability all the time." <-- this is brilliant advice! I work from home so I often feel like I need to be available at odd hours... I need to set hours and stick to them!

    1. Thanks, I'm glad this was helpful! A client actually once eluded to the fact that I was responding late at night (oops!), so that change really helped me set good parameters on when I should be working.

  4. Leave your work at the office. Such a great tip. You'll def burn yourself out if you don't!

  5. Awesome advice, and a lot of these (especially minimizing screen time) are definitely in my goals for 2016! :)

    <3 Rachelle @

    1. Thanks Rachelle! I definitely want to minimize screen time too. Your trip looks amazing so far!

  6. I lovelovelove (love) this post. You're absolutely right - work does NOT equal life. Forcibly unplugging and shutting down tech is essentially essential at this point to maintain strong in-person relationships and enjoy time away from screens after work! Maintaining the balance is hard work sometimes, but oh so worth it in my opinion.

    Coming Up Roses

    1. Thanks so much, Erica! I'm glad this was helpful :) I think it's definitely a challenge to minimize screen time for sure (I still have trouble with it!), but I love what you said about maintaining personal relationships.

      I really liked this post from With Grace and Gold about prioritizing work and personal life too.