Work Life Balance

We found this excellent post online from Kimmel & Associates – an executive search firm located in Asheville, North Carolina, USA. Although a few years old now; these quotes are just as relevant now as they were then. Thank you for sharing,  Kimmel!

8 tips on leaving work at work… and some really great movie quotes to help you gain a healthy work-life balance

Have you heard the terrible news? About the death of the 40-hour workweek? It’s true, it’s completely deceased. No more 8-5 dance, TGIF, or Sunday Funday. The death, though slow and painful at first, all of a sudden snuck up on everyone. Extinct. A distant memory.

And there wasn’t even time to mourn because emails needed answering, phone calls made, deadlines pushed up and before anyone realized it, days bled into each other, weeks never ended, and vacations just meant working remotely. Life doesn’t have to be this way, though. At least your life doesn’t. You can resurrect the 40-hour workweek for yourself. You can make more time for friends, family, movies, restaurants, gyms, games, clubs, whatever.

And speaking of movies, these famous movie quotes from popular movies will give you the know-how on how to do so. Coming up: work life balance quotes and leaving work at work.

#1: Network          “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore.”

One of the first ways to leave work at work and reclaim your nights and weekends is by recognizing that something needs to change and that you are the only person who is going to make it happen. If you are waiting for your employer to notice you are replying to emails at 2 a.m. and to give you permission to ignore them, its probably not going to happen. Decide to take matters into your own hands. And then make a plan on how to do so and stick to it. Work life balance is important and you really can make a change.

#2: A Few Good Men   “You can’t handle the truth!”

Though it can be a harsh reality check, it may be time to assess your workday and see if there is time during the day when you could be more productive. Even just squeezing out 15 minutes here and there can make a big difference in feeling like you’ve accomplished a lot in your workday.

Consider keeping a detailed itinerary of your everyday tasks for one week. At the end of the week, make an honest assessment of the work you did that week and see if there are times you could have been more productive, giving you more free time at the end of the day. This equates to a week with more work life balance.

#3: Karate Kid    “Wax on, Wax off!”

Did you know your iPhone has an off switch? No, seriously, it is not a myth! Your phone has an off switch and you need to learn how to use it. Give yourself a realistic deadline. Some of you may have jobs where it just isn’t possible to turn your phone off from 5:00 pm to 7:00 am, but you can gain back some of your personal time by putting yourself on a very strict schedule.

Maybe consider turning the phone off completely from 6:00-9:00 so you can pay attention to your family, or take time for yourself at the gym or with friends. Don’t allow that schedule to budge at all. If you need to work later, turn the phone back on at 9:00 and work for a few more hours, but at least you will have given yourself a much-needed break. Consider the same method on the weekends.

#4: Sudden Impact  “Go ahead, make my day!”

This may sound juvenile, or maybe impossible, given that workdays are often unpredictable, but try scheduling your workdays 2-3 days in advance. Most of the time you are able to predict what needs to be done and by when, so put it on paper, and display it in a prominent place in your workspace. Then commit to stick to it!

Sometimes, prioritizing in advance for what needs to get done, gives you the freedom to really focus on one task until completion. Knowing that you have a variety of different things to do and bopping back and forth between them is never the most effective use of time. This also gives you a little flexibility. If something else comes up at work that requires immediate attention, your schedule tells you what can be put on the back burner and for how long. Making up your own day, your own schedule, your own way, will provide for a much better work life balance.

#5: The Godfather   “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

Have you considered having a discussion with your boss about your desire to have a better work life balance? Though most employers instinctively know that their employees are working around the clock, when confronted with the facts, very few would encourage you to continue working into the wee hours of the morning. They know what kind of trouble that could get them into if they did!

Have an honest conversation with your boss. Present to them your plan for being more productive while at work and ask them to give you a month to try turning your phone off or sticking to an at-work-only policy and then give you a performance review after. Most employers, if they notice that your work productivity hasn’t decreased, will be on board with your attempts to stick to a schedule.

#6: Top Gun   “I feel the need… the need for speed.”

Do you feel like you are on hyper drive all the time? Consider slowing down, both physically and mentally, and your commute is a great time to do so. Commute time, no matter how long or short, can give your mind the time it needs to prepare for what is coming next. On your commute to work, take a few minutes to review your daily and weekly schedule so your mind is refreshed and ready to tackle the tasks ahead.

When you get to the office, you’ll hit the ground running, knowing what needs to be done first. On your commute home from work, take the time to slow down and wind down. Don’t use it as an extra few minutes to keep working, but instead try to make the conscious effort to start thinking about what is happening the rest of the night. Make the mental work life balance mindset shift. Maybe watch a show on your phone, talk to your carpool pal, listen to a favourite radio program or just simply enjoy the scenery.

#7: The Wizard of Oz  “There’s no place like home.”

It is really hard to convince yourself to leave work at work if going home doesn’t offer you any sort of excitement or stimulation. Still, a healthy work life balance will even the playing field on both sides of your commute. Make your personal life something fun and dynamic that you just can’t wait to get home to.

Sign up for that softball league or football team. Join a gym and find a group fitness class that inspires you. Or make concrete plans to do something fun with your spouse or catch all your kid’s swim meets. Even if you’re happy with your current home life, there are always ways to spruce it up and make it more exciting. The less tempting it is to turn on the TV and start answering more emails, the better.

#8: Dirty Dancing  –  “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

Consider why you so badly want to take back your nights and weekends. Is it for you? Your spouse? Your kids? Whatever the reason, if it’s important to you, it deserves your attention. Would you be ok if your spouse spent as much time on work as you do or would you start to feel neglected? Looking back, will you regret how much time you missed with your kids or how many big events you weren’t at? Whoever “Baby” is for you, don’t put them in a corner.

Being able to leave work at work and take back your nights and weekends is all about making a concerted, consistent effort to create a better work life balance for yourself. Just do it. The 40-hour workweek may have died nationally, but you can bring it back in your own life by remembering these famous movie quotes.

Here’s one final quote to inspire a healthy work life balance, just for a little more motivation.

May the force be with you!”