As Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, most of us were raised to believe that work comes first and everything else comes after. We were taught that we had to work hard to succeed and taking time off without a good reason was not acceptable. Calling in sick was discouraged, and vacations were never long enough. However, these beliefs are no longer widely accepted by younger generations. A good work-life balance is now a topic of discussion in job interviews.
I followed the work-comes-first mentality for years until I realized that I could break free from the constraints of the 9-5 grind. By joining the gig economy, I realized that I had marketable skills that allowed me to decide when and how I wanted to work and play. This new way of working has worked well for me for the past several years. However, I recently returned to the 9-5 world. I have returned with a different mindset and a new set of rules. I have set boundaries and I enforce them, which has allowed me to be more focused and productive at work. I have made it clear that I am an asset and will be treated as such, or I will simply walk away.
While returning to the 9-5 world has its challenges, it is a necessary step for me to achieve my goals. It is a steppingstone to my dreams. Instead of focusing on the end goal, I focus on each task at hand, and before I know it, I will be where I want to be. We were not meant to work and die, we were meant to live, love, explore, and be! When you are lying on your death bed, I highly doubt you will thinking ” damn wish I had worked more”. When we die we regret only that which we did not do. Go out and grab your dream! Live life like today is the last day, because you never know when it will be.
Achieving a good work-life balance can be accomplished through several steps:
- Setting clear priorities: Determine what is most important to you and prioritize your time accordingly.
- Creating boundaries: Decide on specific times for work and leisure activities and stick to them.
- Managing time effectively: Plan and prioritize tasks, minimize distractions, and delegate when possible.
- Maintaining physical and mental well-being: Exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep, and engage in activities that help reduce stress.
- Communicating with colleagues: Be transparent with your coworkers about your work and personal commitments.
- Seeking support: Ask for help when needed, whether it’s from a family member, friend, or professional.
- Practicing self-care: Make time for activities that bring you joy, such as hobbies or time with loved ones.
Remember, it is important to find what works for you and adjust as needed, as everyone’s priorities and schedules may differ.