I started writing a blog post which was intended to be a list of my tips for achieving Work Life Balance as an Early Career Researcher/ Academic. When I started my list, I got to the first point, which was – Think about what Work Life Balance looks like for you and I realised that this is so important, it deserves its own post.
Gone are the days of defining Work Life Balance as simply working ‘9am- 5pm’. It is so much more than that. Before you can achieve Work Life Balance, you need to define it for yourself. For me, right now Work Life Balance is not about how many (or how few) hours I work during the week, rather it is about making sure that when I am not working I am switched off. It is about not feeling guilty for leaving the office at 4pm when I started before 8am. It is about having a big part of my life not be related to work- having hobbies, spending time with friends/family, having personal goals. What does it look like for you?
Here are some questions to get you thinking?
- Is it about working particularly hours- e.g. are you a morning person who wants to make the most of the morning productivity and then have your afternoons as “you time”
- What is important to you outside of work? How does work impact upon this, and how can these impacts be minimised?
- What personal (non-work related) goals do you have? How can you work towards achieving these?
- Who is someone you know that has a good work life balance? What do they do?
- When you think about Work Life Balance, what is the first thing that comes to mind?