What’s Your Work Life Balance Like?

By  La Shell Reid Hoilett

What's Your Work Life Balance Like?

After having been in the working world since the ripe old age of 18, I’ve slowly come to the realization that without work life balance there is nothing. I’m in a mood these days where I keep thinking of what my retirement and old age is going to be like. Will I be one of those folks who only in old age could they afford the time and money to travel? How about being happily surrounded by family and grandchildren? Will I still be working?

One thing I do know is that at that age, I want to feel as though I have fully experienced life. Building a lucrative career can make life so much easier in the long run, but we must ask, at what cost? I look at a couple friends of mine, whom in the grand scheme of things, I should feel a teensy bit of envy. Because they are my age and have way more than me in terms of career, assets and so on. But I don’t. And for good reason.

I truly admire people who devote time and energy to their craft and get rewarded for it. It’s only fair. But what I’ve come to realize, is that if there is no balance, then what do you have? Should you get ill and can no longer work, should you get let go, or should you just sit and reflect, do you really want your most vivid memory to be of you being stuck in an office for 20, 40 and even 50 years of your life. I mean if it’s doing something that you love, well then that’s ok. But for the majority of us, are we doing what we love for a living?

My philosophy is this. Life is so so so short. Work smart (not hard), be fulfilled in your work, give back to the community and the less fortunate and do lots and lots, for you. This sounds easy, but I’m only now finding my way to put these things into action.

I work simply to build memories, not things. Because things can all disappear. They can all be taken away. Experiences however, yes I may someday get dementia, but until then, I will have years and years of them to look back on and cry, smile, laugh, fume, everything!

There are tons of research and articles out there (like this one) that shows what elderly or dying people wish they would have done differently in life. More times than not, it’s to not work so much. To have seen the beauty in life. To live the life they wanted as apposed to what was expected of them.

What is this life really if we can’t take some time out and really see the world? But then again, who am I? I’m a young woman with an average job, working for an average (but really good) company, with an average income. Trust when I say that I am really thankful for these things. They make my life a hell lot easier, but what would it be if I didn’t have a sound relationship, didn’t travel, didn’t volunteer or write this blog? What would it be if I didn’t catch up with friends, meet new people or simply lay down and did nothing? If all I had was my job. My work. What would my life look like? These are the pertinent questions that we need to frequently ask ourselves.

So in the end…

When I’m stressed out at work, I bring myself back to my thoughts on effecting work life balance. Work is not the be all and end all and play is not the be all and end all either. So what do we do? We make the best with what we have. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

What are your thoughts on work life balance?

Thanks for stopping by!


PS ~ Wedding talk: What Would You Change About Yours? and How to Create Good Vibes At Home.

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  Comments: 21

21 responses to “What’s Your Work Life Balance Like?”

  1. Gina says:

    I think we need balance in all aspects of life. Life is a juggling act. There are times I work too much, then times not enough then I’m running around crazy trying to get caught up!

  2. Lacy Ngo says:

    I am constantly struggling with this especially now that I blog fulltime. With blogging, there is no punch out clock. You can always find something to work on so I have to make my own time clock, so to speak. I have to make myself turn off the computer and call it a day. I am still working on this.

  3. My husband and I say we work to live, not live to work. We put our family and fun time first and try not to spend every waking minute working. That’s how I achieve my balance.

  4. I constantly struggle to balance it and still trying to connect the work and life balance. I spend more time on work than anyother thing and hoping to get it right soon.

  5. I’m beginning to realize that work/life balance is a skill in itself, that gets better with experience. It’s like you gotta achieve several different skills (time management, coping skills, organization, stress management skills etc) to achieve work/life balance. I started working mostly freelance when I was 19 (I’m 25 now), and I got used to irregular schedules in combination with class schedule. When I started working full-time a month after graduating college, I thought it would be a breeze to have work-life balance but it went left so quick lol. I had no life at all, lost some friendships even because I centered everything around being prepared for work. I found it way more difficult with a consistent full-time schedule to find that balance. (I think it’s also because my narcolepsy can affect me at random times of the day).

    Since then I realized freelance/ self-employed work allows me to get better at work-life balance. However, it has some hurdles too, especially if your workplace is your resting place as well. I find myself battling with wanting to relax and take a break when I need to be working. But on the flip side, when I finally take a break, I feel horribly guilty the whole time because I’ll think I could be getting working done instead of lounging on my @ss lol. I’ve gotten better over time though. I’m starting clear my weekends from work so I can make sure I’m well rested and focused on work days. (sorry I got a lil into my feelings in this comment haha). But I just wanted to share that I can relate to what you were saying. My boyfriend and I both are self-employed so we discuss the topic ALOT. We both feel that one of the keys to work-life balance is focusing on working effectively instead of just working hard constantly. We can work our butts off and still be at square A or even set back further than before. If we focus our energy on the tasks that will prove effective, we get better results and more time to dedicate to our lives.

    Great post, this is definitely a topic that needs to be discussed with teens and young adults before they enter the workforce.

    – Tia |

  6. MV says:

    The question of balance just may be the biggest one of these contemporary times. People are more mindful of the need for balance yet life’s demands make it hairy to accomplish. It’s an ongoing juggling act, so if we can get as close to balance as possible, then that’s a start..

  7. Amanda says:

    With blogging full time & being a stay at home Mom, it’s hard to juggle work, but I usually do work when he is sleeping.

  8. Summer says:

    This is so good. Work/life balance is something I’m really passionate about and am always striving to keep a good balance in. It’s important to live a healthy life.

  9. Sondra Barker says:

    Finding a work-life balance can be so difficult. I tend to be so consumed with my work sometimes.

  10. Actually, I think we need work / life integration. Instead of balancing (an image of one side of the scale getting out of balance), we should integrate and incorporate work/life together towards a more satisfied goal.

  11. JK says:

    In my case, I usually plan for a solo trip or just a quick escape with friends or family. And we should actually do that once in a while for us to know that there’s more to life than the corporate grind.

  12. I was in desperate need of this kind of balance a few years ago. I was working 50+ hrs a lot, busting my arse and had to come home to care for a cancer stricken other half. It was torture for me and there was absolutely zero downtime.

    I ended up throwing in my job, walked out with nothing else to go into and ended up finding a job where I can work from home.. choose my own hours.. and essentially got my life back by working part time.
    I’m now SO much happier and really cannot stress how important getting this right is.

    Careers and money may seem like they’re all we strive for.. but you’re right to say it’s about memories and experience. Your happiness is worth it’s weight in gold.

    Laura ¦

  13. I learned really quick in my second full-time job out of college how important work life balance was. I was burned out after 6 months and ever since then I’ve made it a priority, otherwise what’s the point?

  14. DSM Tool says:

    Hi! I love your philosophy – “Life is so so so short. Work smart (not hard), be fulfilled in your work, give back to the community and the less fortunate and do lots and lots, for you. ” I hope to do the same. I know it is not easy but I will have to find ways to have a better work-life experience. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful blog.

    All the best,

    Michelle / DSM Tool

  15. Hi! I love your philosophy – “Life is so so so short. Work smart (not hard), be fulfilled in your work, give back to the community and the less fortunate and do lots and lots, for you. ” I hope to do the same. I know it is not easy but I will have to find ways to have a better work-life experience. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful blog.

    All the best,

    Michelle / DSM Tool

  16. Brit says:

    Balance in life is crucial! Thank you for being genuine and honest about how you should probably be a little bit envious of those in your age group – I am right there with you. My main goal is to pursue something that lights me up, right? Hence, why I created a blog – haha! I needed this reminder today. Great post!

  17. Work/life balance is something I’ve been trying to work on this year. It’s definitely off (too much work), but I’m working on creating more of a regular “balance.”

  18. Samantha Leigh Kresz says:

    I need to be better about finding balance. I need to find more time to unwind for sure.

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