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How do you balance your career and your normal life?

Growing up and starting your career path seems really time-consuming. I'm wondering how you are able to manage your time so that you still have time to do the things that you love such as sports and gaming.

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Saniya’s Answer

Hi Edwin, this is one of the factors you should consider when looking for a job. The number of companies offering flexible work hours is growing more and more, even more so on the West Coast. Flexible hours means that your performance is measured based on the results you achieve, not the hours that you put it. When you interview for a job, be sure to ask what the working hours are, and if the company has a flexible working policy. Nobody will defend your work-life balance except for you. I saw your question earlier on graphic design, and this is one of the fields where it may be even more lucrative to be a freelance artist. This way, you will be able to balance your work with your hobbies.

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Jason’s Answer

Hi Edwin,

Saniya gave a great response, and I agree that you cant expect anyone to be looking out for your work life balance except you. Some employers are better than others at being flexible but ultimately you must hold the line in what is best for you even of that means working for yourself and making job/career changes. On the positive note, the Millennial generation which is now a significant force in the labor market as a generality expect/demand greater flexibility and work life balance than has been typical in years past. Many employers are beginning to understand that in order to attract the best talent certain concessions are needed to compete. This is especially true in the technology sector where I work.

Even with changes in contemporary work hours and expectations life is always a balancing act and it is actually normal to feel that one area of your live is taking more of your time and energy than we would like. This is not just a job/career dynamic either though it obviously plays into it as work hours potentially consume so much of out time. Life frequently throws things at us that affect where we spend our time, a new job, college education, dating relationships, having a baby, health issues in ourselves and others, buying a home, and on and on it goes. I can safely say that you will never have as much time to do everything you would potentially like to do. So choose which ones are the most important to you and focus on them. For instance, you specifically mentioned playing sports. This is a great interest that can benefit you in many ways, but it is also one where you are unlikely to be equally invested in it come 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now. Interests change as do demands on our time but time is also a limited resource so make sure to spend it on things that matter most.

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Jennifer’s Answer

Balancing your professional and personal life can be challenging, but it's essential. Often, work takes precedence over everything else in our lives. Our desire to succeed professionally can push us to set aside our own well-being. Creating a harmonious work-life balance or work-life integration is critical, though, to improve not only our physical, emotional and mental well-being, but it's also important for our career.
Here are some ways to create a better work-life balance:
- Find a job that you love
- Prioritize your health
- Don't be afraid to unplug
- Take a vacation
- Make time for yourself and your loved ones
- Set boundaries and work hours
- Set goals and priorities (and stick to them)

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Kevin’s Answer

-Have preset boundaries and rules to separate personal life and work. If possible keep work-related items on a work phone/computer. Only work during work hours.

-Make it a priority to keep these areas of your life separate

-Be organized. Make sure you have enough time to get your work to-do list done, in order to have time to take that well-deserved vacation. Take time to estimate the time it will take you to complete various tasks and plan that out using a timeline if possible.

-Find ways to unplug from work. Take time to get away from work and enjoy life (especially important in a work-for-home environment)

-Set alarms or book time to take breaks from work.

-Work hard, play hard

-Be mindful of where you are in life and how this balance will affect those around you. i.e-wife, kids

-Have someone to hold you accountable like a workout partner would, to make sure you commit and take personal time away from work.



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Sana’s Answer

In order to plan time for doing the things you love requires active planning and time management. Like several answers above have mentioned that a lot of companies offer flexible working hours and are focused on results rather than time spent. As such the more efficient and consistent you are with the work you are supposed to do, the more time you will have to do the things that you enjoy.

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Liz’s Answer

It's a matter of priorities, and what you consider normal. If you are single, then it should be pretty easy. If you are married or in a relationship or have children, it will be very busy and difficult. No matter what field you are in, you will have to decide how much time and effort you want to put into your career. So decide: Do you want to work 9 - 5 pm everyday or are you willing to work odd hours? Are you interested in a career where your job ends at the end of your shift, or a job where you would have to take some work home with you? Figure those things out ahead of time.
However, after years of living, your priorities might change. I can tell you that (besides God) the most important and fulfilling thing in life is and will be developing rich and meaningful relationships-and that means putting your family, children and friends ahead of your needs, ahead of your career. Yes, it will be worth it. Good luck.

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Gina’s Answer

Hey Edwin!

This is a great question and I think this is something that got exacerbated when we started working from home at the beginning of the pandemic. There wasn't a clear boundary between home and work life and it was really difficult at first to balance the two.

What I learned:

1. Set your own boundaries. It helps to set your work hours on your calendar so that you can set that expectation with your teammates.

2. When you go on vacation, really take that time that time off. Delete slack and turn off all your work notifications. This will help you recharge and look at your work in a new light when you get back

3. Focus on the things that matter. Prioritize your tasks at work and focus on the ones that will make the highest impact and are aligned to your company's goals.

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Hanouff’s Answer

That's a great question that I hope I did ask before I start work as I have struggled a lot to balance between work and my personal life and to be honest it doesn't always work. An advantage these days is flexibility, while i have to work 8 hours a day in my firm, I get to choose when and where to work. This actually helps me if i want to go for an early run or study in the morning. It is important to try to leave work at work as the constant worrying makes it hard to enjoy anything you are doing. Of course there will be times where you have to work more than you want for a deadline but try to make these the one-offs not the norm. Try to set boundaries and not let you work affect your personal life.

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Rebecca’s Answer

Everyone of us are playing different roles and struggling on time. It really depends on how do you manage your time. Apart from your job, we would need time to do take care of the family, exercise, meeting friends, leisure, etc. I would use schedule tools, e.g. Microsoft Outlook, Calendar in our phone, etc. to help.
Firstly, I will put in the time for some major / important activities, e.g. important meetings, time to complete projects, etc. Then, I will see put some time to spend with my family. Hence, I can schedule some time for myself, e.g. doing exercise, social life, relax, etc.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!

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Nash’s Answer


Here are a few points to consider:

When you're off the clock leave work behind.

Its important in the workplace that you protect your calendar and have healthy boundaries, for example. "I'm taking lunch" - you take your lunch and disconnect. "I'm taking vacation" you take your vacation and leave work behind. It's important to step away completely and have time to disconnect.

Scheduling is important - make sure you have established boundaries.

Be proud of where you work and know that you are always representing your company and culture.

Don't always say yes "don't be a yes person", consider and think if you have the time to commit to tasks and know when to say no.

Look for employers that value work-life balance. Do your due diligence to ensure that you will not be overworking. Remember that you are interviewing the company to see if it's the best fit for you.

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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Edwin,

This is a great question that cannot be easily answer. It will be depend on what you want out of that work - life balance. You have gotten some great answers. I would add a few things.

First of all, there will be times when one or the other will dominate. Work can feel like more than a full time job, especially when you are starting at a new company or taking on a new role. You end up spending a lot of time focusing on the job and it can mean longer hours or study after hours. Other times, it might be life - like the first few days of your child's life or the illness of a family member that you need to take care of. All that I have said to this point are extreme examples; however, there are smaller examples that can still make you feel out of balance. You have been given some great feedback on time management and finding flexible workplaces. Those are very important ways for you to achieve balance.

Second, balance is what you think it is. What do you value in both work and your life? How will you know when you have achieved that balance? I was a workaholic for a long time. I defined my value as a person by how much work that I did. I thought working long hours would be rewarded with higher pay and loyalty. I ended up getting more work with no raises and laid off first when it came time to downsize. This was a big wake-up call for me. I had to think about what it meant for me to shift from living for work rather than working to live. Every dollar I earn is meant to make my life better. I had to prioritize time for my creative outlets, time with friends, and travel. I now work no more than 45 hours a week, because I am actually busy in my life. Now I know that sometimes I leave work undone and I remember, it will be there tomorrow. And when a special event comes up with friends and family and I want to skip it for work, I think about how I will feel if I miss it.

Work-life balance will always be challenging. The idea is to shape that experience with what you value.

Gloria

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