just sometimes... not all the time.

What is this "Work-Life Balance" You Speak of?

Work-Life Balance: Is it Achievable?

Well, if you work like I do (24/7) and you have no real hobbies, then no. It's not. lol. There are so many articles especially from people working in results-driven roles, talking about how to balance work and life. This is great, but it assumes people have a lot going on outside of work. It assumes that people are generally not boring. And that's me: boring as shit.

I am this equation: NO REAL HOBBIES + VERY CAREER-DRIVEN = BORING. I don't go out. I'm a homebody through and through. Occasionally, I will enter the public, but mostly I don't. If this isn't you then you will not relate to this article.

2 reasons I have no work-life balance

1. I care about work

I care about work probably more than I should. I have always been career-focused and career-goal driven. I make this distinction because I never really identified life goals growing up. I didn't set any goals for travel, relationships, family, bucket list type-shit. Caring about work has had a few implications for me:

Work is no longer just a paycheque.
My first job ever was at the GAP and it was the most not-on-brand that I have ever been in my life. I worked there when I was in grade 12 and always got in trouble for not following the dress code. My little asian hands were fast as shit at folding and organizing which helped pass the time. This job, was just a paycheque.

I care who I work for.
Sometimes it sucks. Having morals and integrity sometimes means that I make less money, don't advance fast enough or am undermined/devalued. Now, I will research. I will jump on that Glassdoor page, LinkedIn Company page, or sub-reddit and look for those company reviews. I want to work for a company whose values align with mine because that means I don't have to change a mf thing about myself when I work somewhere.

I care who I work with.
I know that I can't choose my coworkers, and I won't always get along with everyone. That's obvious. What I mean when I say this, is that I care about working with people who at least have some of the same values as I do. I don't have to like everyone (and I won't), but at least I can work productively with them.

I care about what I do.
I have to do it everyday for at least 40 hours a week. So yeah, I will try to find work that I enjoy doing as much as I can. The buzz phrase these days is "meaningful work," but all work is meaningful to someone. However, if it's not meaningful to me, then it will suck to do. But as we all know, sometimes work is work and we have to do it.

2. I don't think work and life are separate

Work allows me to achieve the few personal goals that I do have. Without work, there is no money, without money there is no financial stability, without financial stability, I can kiss that bucket list item of going to Australia flying Business Class GOOD-MF-BYE. Money isn't everything, but financial stability certainly provides opportunity.

I'm learning not to let work rule my life. My problem is that work is so much part of my life that I don't know how to shut it off. Working remotely and working from home complicates that even further. I don't have regular hours or a dedicated workplace (separate from my living space), where I can unconsciously disassociate from work.

Basically, I don't treat work separate from life. Life = work, family, friends, travel, mental health, personal time, adventures, selfcare... balancing all that shit is literally just living.

3 Ways I make work werk for me

1. Customize

This is a small thing that I find works really well for me. We all have things we interact with everyday to do our jobs: office communicator, email, a desk, a work station, a uniform, a name tag etc. Wherever you can, customize that shit. I've customized my workspace at home to make it as comfortable as possible. You can do this at your office too. If you're a cashier at a grocery store, put a damn fake succulent at your till to make you smile! I use Slack as an office communicator, so I customized the shit out of its theme so it's not the default. Wherever you can, insert who you are into what you use to do your job. Get neon post-its. Get pens from MUJI (get everything from MUJI).

2. Strategize

I'm always thinking about how to use what I'm currently doing in my job, for the future. It's money moves without the actual money. If I have a certain set of responsibilities, I try to think outside the box: how can I expand what I do so that it's transferable to advancing my career? For example, when I was in an entry-level role, I always thought about what I needed to do to get to the next level. I volunteered for projects and did way more outside my job description. Then, when there was an opportunity for a promotion, it was a no-brainer. And you know what promotions mean? Mo' Money. And you know what Mo' Money means? Mo' opportunities. Which means more financial stability. That's my mentality. I do my job for me first, and then the business I work for. After all, when a job becomes personal to you, you're more motivated to work harder.

3. Support

Support means that I talk with colleagues I trust about work. We constructively share our thoughts, we identify challenges, we think of solutions, and we celebrate and appreciate each other. We support each other regardless of how our company supports us. Also, let's talk about how workplace gossip is a gift and a curse. Cause it is, but it certainly does make working somewhere entertaining. lol.

But for real, shoutout to all our coworkers, who have become our friends, and now all we do is share memes in the group chat.

And. Thats. On. Periodt.