I wanted to take another moment to discuss work-life balance. Sure, we work in a support organization where we carry pagers to respond "24/7". But when not on call, we need to be able to switch out of "work" mode when we go home or we risk burning out. There are many ways to provide work-life balance. Here is how I manage it:
I try something "new" every month.
That may seem like a simple statement, but has helped to shift my focus away from "work" when I am at home. My wife loves the idea; most activities are things we do together, so it's become a special "date night"! Some of the "new" things we've done as part of this experiment:
- Saw a Russian ballet
- Attended a science fiction convention
- Watched a cabaret
- Visited the 35W construction site
- Read a new book from a different genre
- Saw a musical
- Tried a new restaurant
- Got a hot-rock massage at a spa
What "new" things would you try? The idea is to leave your comfort zone, to look at things in a new way. Not everything needs to be big - experimenting with a new restaurant may be enough, if it pushes you out of your usual habits. And it's something fun to look forward to!
But I'll admit that it's not always easy to try something "new" every month. It requires a certain amount of planning and time, and the realization that you may not like everything. But you may find that you really enjoy some of the things you try. For example, my wife and I discovered we like ballet, and are planning to attend another performance in January.
As we head into the holiday season, take an honest look at your work-life balance. Find ways to "unplug" when you are at home (and not on call) and enjoy the other half of your life. If you are like me, you'll become more focused when at work, and more relaxed when at home.