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How this simple trick helped me achieve work-life balance.

A satisfying life should have two components: Boundaries and balance.

The first step in achieving either one is setting them; without those structures to work within, we become directionless workaholics who cannot possibly fulfill our goals or find fulfillment in what matters most—ourselves.

Life is hectic. Especially if you are trying to build something, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring sense to it and achieve a healthy existence.

Living a life in balance starts with setting boundaries. And no matter how experienced you are, it takes time to learn self-care and boundaries for yourself.

You work hard, and you deserve to feel good about that. But, the problem with overworking yourself is its toll on your body, mind, and emotions.

And the idea behind working day and night seems great at first glance; working harder can lead you to achieve your goals faster, resulting in feeling accomplished or essential.

But there are downsides beyond physical health where even psychological functions like happiness become compromised due to overworking yourself.

(Been there, done that.😅)

So, if lately, all of your energy has been going towards keeping up on things that need attention at work, your side project, AND at home while also trying not to get burnt out--it might be time to start setting boundaries with yourself.

So, how can you set boundaries with yourself?

Easy. Start by saying ‘no’ to yourself.

Plan your day a night after in a way that works for you, explain precisely at what time you will close your work laptop and exactly what you will do after, and follow it through the next day.

Whenever you feel like disrespecting the time boundary you set, ask yourself: "How does this serve me?" – It's worth considering whether your repeated behavior serves any purpose.

First, we make our habits; then, our habits make us.
 Charles C. Noble

If you can’t come up with a clear answer that genuinely resonates with you on how repeatedly performing that action will benefit you in the long term more than it will affect you, say no to yourself.

The boundaries and compromises you make with yourself will set the foundations for how your day-to-day routine will look, and your routine will consciously or unconsciously determine your habits and, therefore, the life you’ll lead.

Practice saying no to yourself more often.

No, you don’t need to stay late again.

No, you don't need to clear your backlog every night.

No, you don’t need to feel exhausted to feel accomplished.

When you say no to things that don't serve you, you say yes to what does.

So, next time you want to disrespect your boundaries;

Ask yourself, how is this serving me?

 

👉Does this resonate with you? Share your work-life balance tips with me! I'm always eager to learn about this topic. :) 

5 comments

The two tips I always share are pretty standard but a lot of people seem to resonate with them as well. 

1. Delete all your work apps from your phone 

I used to check my emails and Slack daily after work which sometimes already stressed me because of the things I had to do tomorrow. And I spent at least 30mins a day scrolling through LinkedIn which didn't really help take my mind of things. 

2. When working from home, have your desk in a separate room than your bedroom. 

That really helps with boundaries because you don't have any of your work stuff lying around and check your mails again. 

Like # people like this
Summer.Hogan Community Leader Sep 22, 2022

Great article and tips @Jennifer Velázquez_jexo_! I try to practice self-care whenever I can and I think a good tip is to say NO to yourself! That one I will definitely use! At my company, we have a wellness app called Virgin Pulse and it has so many tips about self-care that I follow. We also have a great wellness team that provided tips and whole months dedicated to different parts of health, including self-care. 

@Johanna Pichotka_APTIS_ - I can't agree with you enough! I refuse to take work phone (or as I call it a "leash") nor will I put work apps on my phone. I also have my office in a separate room, although it is a guest room that has a bed in it. 

Like # people like this
Andy Gladstone Community Leader Sep 22, 2022

@Jennifer Velázquez_jexo_ thank you for publishing an article that is so subtle yet necessary. I don't have any tips to share - my balance and boundaries need a lot of work But I'll get started on that tonight by telling myself 'NO' about something I know I will usually give in to. I'll start tonight and see if I can continue the pattern - and then report back on how it (hopefully) improves my balance.

Like # people like this

@Jennifer Velázquez_jexo_ thank you for reinforcing something that should be important to us all.

For me, saying “no” to one things gets easier by also saying “yes” to something else. So by turning down a request to help one with a new project, I’m actually saying yes to work more deeply in one of my existing projects. It’s a framing tactic :)

Like # people like this

Thank you for sharing this @Jennifer Velázquez_jexo_ 💚 You've been a big inspiration for me in the past months.

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