How to Balance Work and Your Personal Life

Last Updated:

The phrase “work-life balance” has found its way into countless employee handbooks and recruitment brochures, yet few people ever master the skill of balancing work with play.

If you find yourself cancelling social outings because you have to work, checking your work email at your kid’s soccer game or calling your boss from your beach vacation, you may be suffering from a lack of work-life balance.


How to Balance Work and Your Personal Life

As an entrepreneur, I have learned the importance of maintaining a personal life outside of work. While it can be difficult to achieve the right balance of work and personal time, especially as you advance in your career, it is possible.

Here is some of my favorite advice for being able to balance work and your personal life, and live your life outside of the office.


1) Stop Being Available 24/7

Getting into the habit of answering emails and phone calls outside of work hours can make colleagues expect immediate responses from you. It sends the impression you are always “on call,” which makes people continue to contact you after work hours.

This also gets you in the habit of checking your phone and email all of the time, which takes your focus away from that thing called your personal life.

While it may sound impossible at first, try to unplug at night and/or on weekends. For example, make it a rule to stop checking email after 8 p.m. every night. Be sure to let your coworkers and boss know how to get ahold of you in the event of a true work emergency.

Chances are your colleagues will respect your new contact rules, but if you are still getting bombarded with emails and calls outside of work hours, it may be time to have a chat with your manager or HR.


2) Don’t Bring Work Home with You

Some common advice given to people who have a hard time falling asleep is to stop watching TV or using their computer while in bed.

The thought behind this is that you need to train your body to associate your bed with sleep. By having too many “screens” in your bed, you are keeping your mind off of sleep.

The same concept can be applied to work. By keeping work out of your house, you will stop associating your home with work. Create a distinct separation between work and your personal life by leaving work behind at the office.

This may require taking your work email off of your phone, or at least turning off notifications once you leave the office each day.

It is unavoidable to burn the midnight oil from time to time. But if you need to work late, it may be better to stay in the office late than working at home until the wee hours of the morning.


3) Cultivate New Interests and Hobbies

The best way to create a better work-life balance is to actually have a life outside of work. This requires putting time and effort into interests other than your career and job industry – something which is surprisingly uncommon for workaholics.

Many people leave behind their hobbies once they enter the workforce. Finding time for your interests when you work all week can be difficult, but it’s important to make time for this.

Whether you want to learn how to play the guitar or take a woodworking class, think of what you could realistically commit to on a weekly or monthly basis. Then once you sign up, add it to your calendar…


4) Schedule Personal Activities on Your Calendar

Treat your personal time with the same respect as your work time by scheduling it on your calendar. Recurring “me time,” such as your morning workout or a Sunday golf game, is worthy of some calendar space.

This allows you to avoid filling up your work calendar and having zero time for yourself.

You don’t need to limit this practice to yourself, either.

Include important events for family and friends on your calendar. Schedule a recurring date night with your spouse to ensure you are making enough time for your relationship.

If you have kids, putting their extracurricular activities or sports practice on your calendar lets you plan your work schedule around their most important events.


5) Use All of Your Vacation Time

Many people view never taking any time off as a badge of honor and sign of their superior work ethic. But, vacation time is essential for avoiding burn out. Believe it or not, in some countries it is a requirement for managers to use all of their vacation time.

The idea behind this is that disconnecting from work for a few weeks allows you to return refreshed and focused.

When you do take a vacation, really disconnect from work:

  • Leave your work laptop and phone at home.
  • Turn on your “out of office” notification on your email.
  • Let coworkers know which dates you are unavailable.

Hopefully, you will return to the office not only with a great tan, but also a fresh perspective and the energy to implement your new ideas.


Put Yourself First

If you take any advice from this post, it should be this: always put your health and personal relationships before your job. Work will always be there, but you can’t get back the time you didn’t spend on yourself and the people you care about.

How do you balance work and your personal life? Leave a comment below.

Dan Western
Dan Western
Dan Western is the founder of Wealthy Gorilla. Dan has been running Wealthy Gorilla and studying self-development, personal finance, and investment for the last 7 years. To this day, Wealthy Gorilla has become one of the fastest growing wealth infotainment sites in the world; with over 300 million views worldwide. Dan doesn't use personal social media anymore, so you won't be able to find him on Instagram, or Twitter.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Bernard Hopkins Net Worth

Bernard Hopkins earned his fortune as a middleweight boxer, becoming both incredibly wealthy and a world champion title holder for almost 3 decades.

Emmy Rossum Net Worth

What is Emmy Rossum's net worth? Introduction As of ,...

Dr. Disrespect Net Worth

What is Dr. Disrespect's net worth? Introduction  As of ,...

Bradley Chubb Net Worth

What is Bradley Chubb's net worth? Introduction  Bradley Chubb is an...

Mohamed Salah Net Worth

What is Mohamed Salah's net worth? Introduction Mohamed Salah is an...

Queen Latifah Net Worth

What is Queen Latifah's net worth? Introduction  As of ,...

Latest Net Worth Profiles

John Landis Net Worth

John Landis made millions as a director and actor in Hollywood, eventually becoming one of the wealthiest icons in the film world.

Ralf Schumacher Net Worth

German racing driver Ralf Schumacher has earned millions as a Grand Prix champion in Formula One.

Petra Kvitova Net Worth

Czech professional tennis player Petra Kvitova has earned a substantial net worth as one of the world's greatest players to ever compete on the court.

Peter Jackson Net Worth

Best known for directing Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson is one of the wealthiest and most well-known filmmakers in Hollywood.

Peter Forsberg Net Worth

Former professional hockey player Peter Forsberg earned millions in the NHL as one of the greatest players of all time.

Pete Sampras Net Worth

As a longtime rival of Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras has earned a substantial net worth as one of the world's best former tennis players.

Steve Nash Net Worth

Steve Nash is a former National Basketball Association player, and current coach, who is considered one of the greatest point guards of all time.

Pete Dye Net Worth

Golf course designer Pete Dye was renowned for his architectural skills, and he earned millions by creating some of the best golf courses in the world.

Stefan Edberg Net Worth

Former professional tennis player Stefan Edberg has earned a remarkable fortune as a six-time Grand Slam champion.

Paul Thomas Anderson Net...

American filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson has earned a substantial net worth for directing hits like Boogie Nights and Magnolia.