My #1 Tip for Achieving Work/Life Balance

(Hint: it isn’t getting massage or joining a gym)

Work-life balance…what does this even mean these days? We live in a time when our colleagues are our best friends, our homes are our workspace, we have unlimited vacation days but answer emails until midnight. More than ever before, people are doing work they love and they’re defining their life by their work. It’s unclear if a line between the two can even be drawn.

Still, finding the key to work-life balance is all the rage. Common suggestions include unplugging, exercising, scheduling in leisure time, etc. While these are all great suggestions, self-care is not a one-size-fits-all concept. What feels like work to some people is a vacation for others. What one person sees as self-care is the definition of hell to another.

I have a client who absolutely dreads meetings. She finds them to be a waste of time and leaves them exhausted. Another client who works at the exact same company LOVES meetings. He sees them as chance to connect with colleagues and get his social mind going, and he leaves them feeling recharged.

So my number one tip for work/life balance is this: get know to which of your skills and tasks use up your energy, and which refill your energy, and then limit the responsibilities you take on at work that drain you.

For example, if you are a classic introvert, meaning that socializing drains your battery and being alone recharges it, don’t network so much for work that you have no energy to go out with friends. If networking is a big part of your role, see if you can substitute something that is not as tiring for you — writing blog posts for the company’s LinkedIn page, for example.

If you’re an extrovert, but the focus it takes to research articles really takes it out of you, don’t do so much reading for work that you neglect the reading for pleasure that you’ve been looking forward to. Instead, offer to do interviews to collect information so that some of your reading energy is preserved.

If you keep some of your energy sacred for your friends and family, your hobbies, and yourself, both your personal and work life will benefit.

How do you achieve work/life balance? The conversation continues in the comments below.

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