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What is Work Life Balance?

life of a programmer

It’s easy to get caught up in terms like work life balance. We talk about it at work. We talk about it as entrepreneurs. Everyone wants to find a way to achieve it.

But what is work life balance, really?

And does it mean you really have to compartmentalize your work away from your life?

Work vs. Life

Much of the time, we feel as though work and life are two opposites. After all, you go to work all day, hopefully accomplish something that allows you to keep drawing a paycheck (or earning money in a business or side hustle), and then you come home to your family.

You’re supposed to put work away and focus on your life.

However, as the world changes and the nature of the economy and work changes, there are some changes to the way we look at work and life. This has the potential to be true as more people engage in remote work and find ways to make money in the new economy.

It can be harder to draw a hard line between work and life. I know that, for me, the two are deeply entwined. Maybe I work during the morning, take a long lunch or go have my nails done, and then come back to work in the evening while my son does homework.

I don’t mind doing a few things related to work while I’m on vacation. And because I can work from anywhere, I get to travel a few times a year. I love my work and my projects, and that means I don’t mind having them as part of my life.

Creating a Work Life Balance that Works for You

Your work life balance doesn’t have to be about working x hours and relaxing for y hours. Instead, I like to think of it as more of a flow. It’s about creating a life you find fulfilling — whether you work for someone else or are self-employed.
The idea is to find work that you enjoy so that, even if you are working, you still feel as though it’s part of your “good” life. I like my writing and my podcasting, and my websites. Even when I’m working, I like what I do and enjoy it. It’s part of my life.
But I also have other interests, like community involvement and traveling with my son. So I make sure to include those priorities in my life. I see it all as a whole, and I need to arrange my time to take advantage of the priorities that matter most to me.
Think about what you want to do throughout your day, and try to find a way to make it happen. If you aren’t in a position to accomplish the work life balance you prefer, do your best to figure out how to add more of your priorities into your life. Then take the necessary steps toward improving the situation.
Whether it’s finding a more flexible job that allows you to work around your child’s school schedule, or whether it’s being able to telecommute once a week, or whatever it is, figure out what works best for you and then move forward.

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