For this month’s T-SQL Tuesday, Tjay Belt (b|t) asks about balancing work and life. He lists some options and I decided to write about What rules have you implemented that made it easier to balance?
Balancing work and life
The initial shift to working from home didn’t phase me. I thought it was just a short term measure to keep people safe. I found that my team became more productive and there were high spirits initially. I was happy to work overtime and spend time on community work. (Looking back, I spent far too long at my desk)
The period up to July/August I was very productive with blogging and creating content for online presentations and YouTube videos. I then felt a little flat and my productivity dropped off a cliff. Similarly I had a small boost in February when I felt motivated. So I had to come up with some rules.
Striking the balance – The rules
I have adopted a few rules and try to stick to them but I don’t stress out about it. If I need to work on, or I don’t want to go outdoors, it’s not a big deal.
- Try to finish work at 5:30
- Spend 30 minutes outdoors every day
- Have some fun
Try to finish work at 5:30
Honestly: finish at finishing time. Don’t work for free. It’s my number one tip for balancing work and life. The work will always wait for you. Now I’m not saying this is possible 100% of the time but it should be your aim. For example, I’ve had to deal with production issues that can’t wait but on the whole, I’m referring to the ticket queue and requests from end users. I’ll also take time back if I’ve had to work on at a time that suits me and my company.
My employer also introduced a new perk called Summer Hours where all employees get every Friday afternoon off during July and August. It’s such a fantastic employee benefit which is worth 4 extra paid days off per year.
Spend 30 minutes outdoors
I attended an online seminar at my work (Monster.com) talking about mental health. I was inspired by one of the speakers who had set up a podcast and blog called humansoutside. She described that simply spending 30 minutes outdoors every day had had a profound effect on her’s and her husband’s mental health. You should give the podcast a listen.
So now I try to spend some time outside each day. Whether is working in the garden, going a walk or just taking refuge from the rain under my Gazebo to drink a coffee, it is a refreshing habit.
Have some fun
I mentioned on a previous post that I had got a pool table at home. I’m lucky to have the space and I really use it all the time. I aim to clear the balls once a day. If I can play more and get my kids involved, even better.
I’m also a bit of a telly addict. During lockdown, I re-watched the series Curb you enthusiasm. It’s cringe comedy but I love the pedantry. I also re-watched Mad Men which is one of the all time greatest box sets (imho).
I try to have a box set on the go with my wife as well that we only watch at the pace where we can both manage it. (No sneaking ahead, even although sometimes it is tempting)
I hope this helps. Do whatever works for you but do try to do something actively to ensure you strike a work/life balance that works for you.