Hllo SOTGC community,
How often have you heard the phrases “work-life balance,” “time management,” and “productivity” thrown around during meetings or interviews? It seems everyone is searching for a perfect balance, but we know that the scale of this “balance” is often tipped one way or the other.
One day I found myself sitting in a therapist’s chair. Many months later, she told me that day I looked as though I was a robot, ready to give my sales pitch at a moment’s notice. My home life had begun to suffer because of my long hours at work….
The therapist requested that I keep a journal of my work hours that week so we would know how much I was actually working. She then asked me to try to focus on the aspects of my job that I still loved.
The next week, we added up my hours as I sat on her chair. I had worked 85 hours that week. My therapist said that not only did the CEO of my company not work 85 hours every week, but that I didn’t owe my company that much of my life! I thought, “What? I am so young and am so lucky to have my job! Why wouldn’t I work as hard as I can? If I stop working 85 hours a week, will my work suffer?”
My task was to manage my time more efficiently. When I was at work, I was to focus on work. When I was at home, my assignment was to focus on my family. I would need to shut off my email when I wasn’t working. I was also asked to continue keeping track of my hours and work only between 40 to 60 hours per week. Gulp!
Through this practice of keeping track of work time and play time, not only did I become a better employee, but I also became a better wife. If I had worked 40 to 60 hours that week, I stopped making myself feel guilty about shutting down early one day. My work was better, and my customers noticed! I started to love my job again, something I had not felt in a long time.
My personal life flourished too. I did things that I said I didn’t have time to do before. We got a dog:
We went to Italy, our first vacation since our honeymoon:
I started running competitively, something I hadn’t done since high school:
Are there still times where I work too much? Yes. However, those times are not often. So, give yourself the chance to love your job and your personal life. This recovering workaholic wouldn’t go back for anything.
SOTGC was created to be an open forum for discussion. Please share your time management and work/life balance tips in the comment section below.