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Old 07-13-09, 08:05 AM   #1
gbcb
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Work/life balance

Do you think you maintain a healthy balance between your work and the rest of your life? How do you do it? I haven't been too successful in recent weeks and months. At work, I feel like I'm spending a lot of time doing little things that interrupt my concentration on major tasks; by the end of the work day, I feel like I've made little progress despite feeling constantly busy.

That forces me to deal with my work outside of office hours. I don't remember the last weekend I was able to completely relax. After a while of this, I don't feel like I'm working productively, and when I'm supposed to be relaxing I get stressed out by all the work I need to do. I've been trying to work only at the office and to make my apartment a work-free zone, but the limited air conditioning hours at the office (8am-6pm, Mon-Fri only) make that difficult in the summer.

I have what is by all means a great job, but I need to find some kind of balance before I get burnt out on it. I'll get a holiday at the end of September, but it would be nice to figure something out before then. Suggestions sincerely appreciated .
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Old 07-13-09, 08:10 AM   #2
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Old 07-13-09, 08:13 AM   #3
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At this point work/life is good - it's the crap going on in my life that's interfering with my life balance at the moment. I feel like I've lost April, May, June - and now I'm into July and I'm exhausted and frustrated. BUT I do have a huge open blue sky opening shortly that is called moving into my own place. Ahhhh
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Old 07-13-09, 08:19 AM   #4
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I've decided not to work this summer. I'd say that's a good balance.
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Old 07-13-09, 08:20 AM   #5
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On second thought, maybe Foo isn't the place to come for balance

I know what you mean about losing April, May and June, Tude. It's been a weird year.
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Old 07-13-09, 08:40 AM   #6
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I probably have a little more emphasis on my home life than I should while at work, but im moving to Boston next week and getting married in september so it's hard to blame me. I have a feeling I'll be working hard at the new job, but that I've never really had an issue with keeping work at work. I'm in computers, and I work well under deadlines, so I usually dont have a problem with this. Work may think I take it easy too much sometimes, but to me, I need the fun to match the effort.
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Old 07-13-09, 09:03 AM   #7
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All I can say is I once had a perfect balance - more like a blur, where my work was my life and vice-versa. That was bliss. I only hope I can get back to something like that again someday.....
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Old 07-13-09, 09:12 AM   #8
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What were you doing, pgoat? Sometimes I really get into my work and it can be exhilarating, but recently there's been a lot more drudgery and a lot less "wow, this is really cool!". I would love to get back in that mode – the feeling that you're doing something fun, intellectually stimulating and useful is awesome.

One thing I have been thinking of doing more seriously is music. My voice lessons are coming along pretty well and certain aspects of my guitar playing have improved a lot this year. Still, I don't think I'll quit my day job yet.
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Old 07-13-09, 09:18 AM   #9
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Nope. My employer has been tapping rocks for their blood recently - despite phenomenal success in a down market.
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Old 07-13-09, 09:33 AM   #10
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I have a good balance. I'm not really career oriented - it's just a job so that I have the time/money to do the fun stuff in life.

I still work hard (mostly) and enjoy my job, but will never be accused of being a workaholic.
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Old 07-13-09, 09:39 AM   #11
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What were you doing, pgoat? Sometimes I really get into my work and it can be exhilarating, but recently there's been a lot more drudgery and a lot less "wow, this is really cool!". I would love to get back in that mode the feeling that you're doing something fun, intellectually stimulating and useful is awesome.

One thing I have been thinking of doing more seriously is music. My voice lessons are coming along pretty well and certain aspects of my guitar playing have improved a lot this year. Still, I don't think I'll quit my day job yet.
Special education (Speech Therapy). I also did a lot of music therapy with the kids, which was heavenly.

****, If I could incorporate music into my work again I know I would be so happy. If you can do it (in any capacity), go for it.
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Old 07-13-09, 02:27 PM   #12
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I just visited an old park service job I used to work, still have some friends working there doing trail crew/maintenance. I've since finished school and transitioned into a "real" job as an engineer, mostly sitting at a desk quite often. Visiting the park and seeing old friends was great, but it made me long for days when I was physically exhausted after work. I'm going on 3 years as an engineer and am seriously considering going back into some form of physical labor. This just isn't as satisfying... maybe I'll want to sit at a desk when I'm older, but not when I'm 25.
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Old 07-13-09, 03:19 PM   #13
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...At work, I feel like I'm spending a lot of time doing little things that interrupt my concentration on major tasks; by the end of the work day, I feel like I've made little progress despite feeling constantly busy...
I hear that. For me, the background noise of the co-workers on the phone (loud personal calls), music they're playing (office was quieter before boss discovered youtube), tapping on the keyboard, and other things distract me. I'm able to shut my door to get rid of most of the noise, but still get interrupted for help with computer issues. If possible, try to combine your small tasks to a certain period of the day, instead of spread out between the real work. i.e., don't bother me until 11am unless its urgent.
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Old 07-13-09, 03:37 PM   #14
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It's easy. I don't have a life, therefore, I can dedicate all my time to work.

Overtime rocks.
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Old 07-13-09, 03:49 PM   #15
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Do you think you maintain a healthy balance between your work and the rest of your life? How do you do it? I haven't been too successful in recent weeks and months. At work, I feel like I'm spending a lot of time doing little things that interrupt my concentration on major tasks; by the end of the work day, I feel like I've made little progress despite feeling constantly busy.

That forces me to deal with my work outside of office hours. I don't remember the last weekend I was able to completely relax. After a while of this, I don't feel like I'm working productively, and when I'm supposed to be relaxing I get stressed out by all the work I need to do. I've been trying to work only at the office and to make my apartment a work-free zone, but the limited air conditioning hours at the office (8am-6pm, Mon-Fri only) make that difficult in the summer.

I have what is by all means a great job, but I need to find some kind of balance before I get burnt out on it. I'll get a holiday at the end of September, but it would be nice to figure something out before then. Suggestions sincerely appreciated .
Even when I wasn't retired I always put my family before work, I found out early on in life that my family was more important than any job/career, I know I know, "you can't take care of your family if you don't have a good job!" thats total BS! I had the worst jobs in the world and have always managed to put food on the table and pay the bills, and I've had what I considered to be the best job in the world and I put food on the table and payed the bills, I've had no job and still managed to get food on the table and pay the bills! but I would have (and have) given them all up for my family, time spent away from family is time you will NEVER EVER get back!
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Old 07-13-09, 04:45 PM   #16
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Even when I wasn't retired I always put my family before work, I found out early on in life that my family was more important than any job/career, I know I know, "you can't take care of your family if you don't have a good job!" thats total BS! I had the worst jobs in the world and have always managed to put food on the table and pay the bills, and I've had what I considered to be the best job in the world and I put food on the table and payed the bills, I've had no job and still managed to get food on the table and pay the bills! but I would have (and have) given them all up for my family, time spent away from family is time you will NEVER EVER get back!
+1... anyone who believes that work is their life needs to take a serious step back and rethink the game of life. Work supports life, but should never exceed it.

Of course, it never seems to work out that anyone can maintain a constant healthy work/life balance. We do a good job, but there are occasional moments when life has to be put on hold to play "catch up". The extreme flaw is when we see this acceptable or preferable.
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Old 07-13-09, 05:20 PM   #17
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Hard for me to know, my work is wrapped up in my life. And since my wife and I own the company, it just sort of washes in and out of our lives all the time. If we want a break, we just take it. I don't have to go home to be home, home is 1,060 feet away from my office / cabina (yes, I measured it!)

Really, I have had to talk to my wife about giving work a rest sometimes. This is her first business and she is a bit enthusiastic sometimes... Not fair really her first business is going so well.
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Old 07-13-09, 08:03 PM   #18
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ilikebikes, the family thing is very important for me, too I've been thinking a lot that a good job isn't worth all that much if I can't be around at least *some* of my family.

My sister and brother-in-law live in Hong Kong, as do a great bunch of really good old friends. I've been in mainland China for five years now and am starting to seriously think about when I could move down to Hong Kong -- it's the closest place I have to a hometown.

I have no regrets at all about coming to live in China. It's been a fantastic experience, and I've learned ridiculous amounts of stuff, including another language, but I've come to realise that staying here much longer than five years will come to mean staying here more-or-less permanently.

There are some people who come to China and want to devote their lives to learning about it and living here, but I don't think I'm one of those people. For me, it's an interesting place, and I like it, but I don't think I can say I love it.

I should clarify that when I say "China", I mean "mainland China". It's a very different place from Hong Kong.
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Old 07-14-09, 06:26 AM   #19
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Do you think you maintain a healthy balance between your work and the rest of your life? How do you do it? I haven't been too successful in recent weeks and months. At work, I feel like I'm spending a lot of time doing little things that interrupt my concentration on major tasks; by the end of the work day, I feel like I've made little progress despite feeling constantly busy.
This was last week for me. I said "f it" and told people I have more important stuff to do and delegated work, even though I'm not one to delegate. The "little stuff" seems small, but are time suckers.

Quote:
That forces me to deal with my work outside of office hours. I don't remember the last weekend I was able to completely relax. After a while of this, I don't feel like I'm working productively, and when I'm supposed to be relaxing I get stressed out by all the work I need to do. I've been trying to work only at the office and to make my apartment a work-free zone, but the limited air conditioning hours at the office (8am-6pm, Mon-Fri only) make that difficult in the summer.
Never, unless its hugely important. I'm a fed and the only thing that would keep me on the weekend was if the Pres or someone really important needed something from me (which would never happen).

Work is work, get what you can get done, and/or delegate.

Quote:
I have what is by all means a great job, but I need to find some kind of balance before I get burnt out on it. I'll get a holiday at the end of September, but it would be nice to figure something out before then. Suggestions sincerely appreciated .
My personal life takes up so much time (biking, running, other sports, friends, girls) I don't have time to worry about work. I come into work Monday exhausted from the weekend, but with a smile on my face. If I didn't have that stuff I probably would worry myself silly. Just say "f it"
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Old 07-14-09, 07:56 AM   #20
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Always find a balance. If you do not then one day you will be old and look back on your life and be sad. If quitting your job to flip burgers makes you happy then do it.

Personally I always work, none stop pretty much. But when I am not at the day job (the one that pays the bills) then I am working on the things that I want to be working on, which is typically building guitars because that is what I do. But I love it so it's not something I consider to be work.

You really need to strike a balance.
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Old 07-14-09, 08:00 AM   #21
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Nicely said

**** what about also carving out a few minutes each day for some yoga or meditation. I often find it hard to squash in stuff I want to do depending on how busy I am, but a little centering each day has helped me deal.
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Old 07-14-09, 06:46 PM   #22
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Find some hobbies. And maybe find a new job. Figure out if you're working because you enjoy it or if you're working to support your lifestyle. Then change your lifestyle.

Otherwise, take 15 minutes during the middle of the day, take your ipod, listen to some music in a quiet place of the building. Then stop everything and enjoy the silence for about 5 minutes and go rub one out in the bathroom.
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Old 07-14-09, 06:56 PM   #23
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Ice packs. When I am less sore from work I quit thinking about it. Seriously I put family time ahead of work, and avoid overtime unless really needed or really lucrative. (I am a Master Technician at Lexus) I also won't stay at a dealership I hate, if the climate is good I am loyal. If they are a bunch of petty backstabbers I am not afraid to use the wheels on my toolbox. Having a very portable career really does help too.
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