About Work/Life Balance

work/life balance // girl for granted

This post, as part of the B Bar’s monthly blog link up, has come at an interesting time for me. It’s like Meg and Victoria read my mind.

If you’ve read regularly or recently, you’ll know I started a new job about six weeks ago. It’s a great team, the hours are decent, the company itself is pretty awesome. Even so, I’ve been relearning how to handle the old work/life balance scenario. It ain’t easy. Sometimes I’m so exhausted at the end of the day that it’s difficult to actually drag myself off the couch and into bed. Much less exercise, shower, wash hair, blow-dry hair, cook dinner etc etc. Y’all know what I’m saying.  I think work/life balance is going to be something that I’ll be chipping away at forever – to be completely honest, I don’t think anybody knows the secret. All we can do is our best, and be happy with that. However, because sharing is caring, here’s my top five favourite ways to achieve some of that lusted after work/life balance.

1// Exercise.

I know that exercise is often the last thing you feel like doing after a long day in the office. That aside, I think it’s one of the best things I do to maintain my sense of balance. I’ve recently recommitted to exercising at least five times a week, including weekends. I’ll give myself a free pass if it’s really what my body needs, but I need that forty minutes or hour to myself to clear my mind. It works wonders with negging stress and nixing bad days. I’m considering doing Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body work outs – has anyone tried them? Tips, suggestions etc welcome as always!

2// Sleep.

So as I write this post, it’s clearly going down a wellbeing path. And that’s ok. Work/life balance is a big part of wellbeing. And SLEEP is a huge part of wellbeing. You know the deal – power down those electronics, drink some herbal tea, and settle in for a restful slumber. It will make a huge difference to your week.

3// Give yourself a break.

It’s great to have goals, and to aim high and want the best. I get that – I’m a slightly OCD perfectionist. Having aspirations and ambitions is a good thing, most of the time. It’s not so good when it spirals and you feel out of control. On those kind of days, it’s fine to let yourself go. If it starts happening everyday or more often than you’re comfortable with, then I urge you to please speak to someone and seek help. But if your loss of control is just of the run of the mill, ‘OMG so much work’ variety, I’m giving you permission to give yourself a break. None of us are perfect, we’re all human, and people understand. Ask for help if it’s available, be it from your colleagues, boss, family, partner or friends. Treat yourself like you’d treat your bestie – would you talk down to her when you know she’s having a rough time at work? No. So let your impossible standards go, and speak to yourself in the same way.

4// Write it down.

I like to start each day fresh with a new to do list. Some items get shifted from the previous day, others are new. I write one out at work every day, and identify my priorities for the day. Once those tasks have been completed, I can work my way down the list. That’s my work list.

For my ‘life’ list, I utilise the notes app on my phone – it’s a little bit out of control. I have shopping lists for groceries, for items I want for my home, for clothes, and a huge long list of books. I keep a running list of blog post ideas, and social media captions – #dork.  I keep ambitions and goals in here, appointments and other reminders. Some people prefer to keep all this in their calendar or a physical diary. I also use a paper diary for personal appointments, social outings and birthdays, but having everything on my phone and easily accessible while on the go helps to keep both work and life in check.

5// Know when to go home.

OMG, I cannot stress enough how important this is to every part of your life.

Knowing when to go home can save you huge amounts of heart ache and energy. I have a personal rule that if it’s after 5.30 and I’m just staring at my computer, not actually achieving anything, I go home. Unless there is something pressing left to do, I ask my boss if there’s anything else she needs from me for the day, and if not, I leave. Right then. It means I’m not wasting valuable out of hours time sitting in the office merely for the sake of appearance. Yes, I feel guilty for leaving when my colleagues are still working, but I also know that the tables will eventually turn and I’ll have work to do late. I figure that it all comes out in the wash.

Similarly, knowing when to go home from a night out, an event, an outing with friends, the gym, shopping etc is a really useful skill to develop – and yes, it is a skill. It requires being able to weigh up all factors. How much fun are you really having? How much more money can you afford to spend? What time do you have to get up tomorrow? Are you doing something high energy later in the day? Listen to your mind and your body, and when it says ‘time to leave’, just go. Don’t waste your time only being half present. You’ll never achieve anything and you’ll only run on half full all the time. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Now tell me, how do you achieve work/life balance? Or is it still a work in progress for you too? x

Let’s keep this chat going – see what these guys have to say about work/life balance:

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 // Manifest Yourself // Fit for a Bride Blog // A Little Leopard // Coral and Cognacs // Little Wild Heard // It’s Julien // Boys and Bombshell // Meg Biram // Victoria McGinley

keep up! 

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    Your tips are great – especially the to do list. I’ve started finishing emails and writing a to do list for the next day. So I can just start working write away. Regardless of when one makes the list, I think it is super helpful in identifying a more purposeful day!

    You might also be the only person who mentioned sleep – which definitely should not be understated.

      Amy Grant

      Love your work Lindsay! Sleep is just so important! Everything seems so much worse when you’re sleep deprived. Gotta get those 8 hours in. x

    Alyssa J Freitas

    It’s totally a work in progress for me too! I struggle with always wanting to do more and knowing that I can, but at the cost of some relaxation time and happiness. It really comes down to what your priorities are, and I’m still trying to figure that out

    Alyssa J Freitas

      Amy Grant

      Prioritising is really difficult, but it’s a rewarding process. Hang in there, Alyssa. x

    Forth Chicago

    Hi Amy!

    We feel what you are saying re: work/life — it’s a lot to juggle and no one has the perfect answer. We appreciate your honesty about perfectionism and the feeling of overwhelm and we could not agree more with your tip to give yourself a break. It’s so important to practice self-care and to SLEEP! Thanks for sharing.

      Amy Grant

      Exactly! I think it’s crucial to understand that you can only do what YOU can do. Thanks for stopping by. x

    Jordana @WhiteCabana

    Sleep and exercise. – two of the most important things! Thanks for the reminder. Why oh why didn’t I put them on my list? I adore sleep!

      Amy Grant

      Oh man, I’m a crazy sleep monster – I must get my 8 hours, or watch out! My tips are very practical but I’m glad to know they resonated with you. xx

    Abigail | A Little Leopard

    Love your tips and so agree! (I really need to exercise…) I just entered the working world in July, and number five is so key. I work in an industry where lots of people stay late frequently, and for awhile I felt like I had to…but like you said, it’s a wash. Such an important habit to get into, but not always an easy one!

      Amy Grant

      It takes time to get into the right groove for you! Hope you’re enjoying the working world so far. x