WORK plus LIFE equals BALANCE

Wednesday, June 01, 2022

This is a guest post by Olalekan Salmon.

One minute you're in control of the two phases of your life. All of a sudden it seems one is infringing on the other's right. You feel the bridge of each phase's personal space becoming shorter and shorter, and just like magic, you can't find the balance between your work life and personal life.

This has been the reality of many people. The thought of finding that balance even becomes worrisome to some people. Especially in the 21st century when there is a thin line between work and personal life. People now work from home or live at work. Either way, these two parts of their life have become intertwined there seem to be no distinctive features.

I have been in this puzzling situation and do not wish to be caught up in it anymore. At least not in this lifetime.

I worked from home for two years as a writer. It was fun at the beginning. I could wake five minutes before 9am and still be at work by 9. Yeah, it was that easy. After a few months, I stopped having friends over because I turned my living room into a workstation. Then I moved to working late because my office was literally a stone throw. My career took over my life and it wasn't what I wanted exactly.

So I had to find a way to give close to equal attention to both parts of my life. Here are three tips to having a Work-life balance. Or trying.

Manage your time.

One of the skills I had to learn was time management. I imagined I was at a real office building and had to close at a particular time. I drew a timetable for my daily activities and allocated time for each. Whenever I had to spend a few minutes more than the allocated time, I tried to make up for it another time. I learned to stop entertaining requests that made me focus more than necessary on one part more than the other.

Loosen up.

This sounds simple but isn't. Many people, one of which I am, find it difficult to allow themselves be free from the confine of work.

I became of engrained in my work that it felt weird to call my friends for hangout. I became isolated and it wasn't good for my health. You have to let yourself into some fun. All work and no play makes you work forever. Nobody wants that. People want to be with friends and family and create memories beyond the work sphere. So loosen up and stop extinguishing those flames of fun. Let's stoke them.

Appreciate yourself.

When I started working, I felt I wasn't doing enough. I didn't like the pace at which I delivered. So I started being critical of myself more than necessary. I decided it was because of my social and personal life. I stopped some activities and focused on work. However, I still wasn't satisfied with myself. 

Then I realised I was being too hard on myself. I started appreciating the work I did and gave myself some pats on the back. Gradually, I became satisfied with my work progress and started partaking in social activities. No time was more fulfilling since then.

Work-life balance is achievable however gradual. Work can be draining and life can be generally on low tides. Whatever the case, you can find that confluence and live a more interesting life. Try out these hacks and see yourself make that progress you desire.


*Over 60% of young individuals in Nigeria between age 15 – 23 are unsure of their future and how to advance into the World of Work.

To this end, Gradrange seeks to bridge the gap between the classroom and the rapidly changing labour market by educating young individuals about the culture, opportunities, challenges, and future for employment in various fields.*

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