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A publication from Medium on personal development.

Work Life Balance

In Forge. More on Medium.

We’re weirdly attached to a schedule that became the norm when current technology did not exist

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We’re in the midst of a huge conversation around the future of work. One of the biggest conventions up for negotiation: the 40-hour workweek.

This is a moment to figure out new ways to make work support our lives, flipping the current dynamic in which many of us live to work. We can start with our schedules. I’m not saying that nobody should work 40 hours a week, and certainly many of us work far more than that. The 40-hour workweek is just shorthand for embracing big, systemic change that puts our humanity first and our productive capacity as workers…

An “always on” existence can be extremely draining

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When you work where you live, the effort to separate work life from personal life can feel like a bit of a performance: You’re hiding your PJs under a professional blazer, or throwing a green screen in front of your household mess. That’s why I’m going to take some inspiration from show business, and suggest six tactics you can use to create a bit more separation between work and home.

Make like Mister Rogers

Just as Mister Rogers made a ritual of changing from a jacket to a cardigan at the beginning of each episode, my grandmother had an end-of-day ritual of changing out…

📆 Today’s tip: To make any transition, set a deadline and work backwards.

If you haven’t yet seen Forge’s five-day course, What Should You Really Be Doing With Your Life?, by Felicia C. Sullivan, your tip for the day is: Check it out. In the course’s last installment, Sullivan offers a strategy for anyone looking for a concrete way to make a change:

Set an end date for your current role — whether you’re looking to move, transition, or evolve your job in your current company or leaving it — and create an action plan by working backwards from that…

🗓️ Today’s tip: Balance your time with a “one for them, one for me” approach.

In Forge’s new five-day course, What Should You Really Be Doing With Your Life?, Felicia C. Sullivan offers lots of great, actionable tips that can help you find your focus and live the life you want. Sometimes, she reminds us, living the life you want has a lot to do with managing where you spend your time.

Sullivan shares a tip from brand designer and illustrator Krista Elvey: The struggle between chasing your wildest, weirdest creative impulses and paying your bills is very real. So…

🍹 Today’s Tip: Plan a “Little Saturday.”

When you really think about it, there is no good reason why anyone has to save all their fun for the weekend. This week, take a page from Scandinavia, where people celebrate lillördag, or “Little Saturday.” Plan to gather (in whatever way is safe for you right now!), have an indulgent meal, mix some cocktails if you’re so inclined, and have a little weekendy celebration on Wednesday night.

As Lauren Allain writes for Forge, “Having a small celebration on Wednesday to look forward to helps break up the monotony, and it helps reinforce…

👩‍💻 Today’s Tip: When you’re working from home, remember that you’re the boss.

Many of us have settled into working from home at this point in our pandemic lives, and it’s likely that you’re really used to it by now (or itching to get back to the office). Either way, it’s time to improve — or at least, reframe — how you see remote work. Here’s the thing: When you’re the only one in your workspace… you’re your own manager.

As Alexandra Samuel and Robert C. Pozen write in Remote, Inc.: “Even if you’re an employee who works remotely for…

We’re all rethinking work these days

Photo: Surface/Unsplash

Chances are, your job has changed in the past year. And it’s not just that we’ve swapped cubicles for kitchen tables, donned protective gear, and adopted Zoom for everything from board meetings to birthday parties. How we think about work — and how we feel about it — has changed, too.

In her newsletter Culture Study, Anne Helen Petersen, whose book Out of Office comes out later this year, writes: “This has been the hardest thing for people who didn’t work from home before the pandemic to visualize: your current WFH scenario is not your future WFH scenario.” She predicts…

You don’t have to wait until the weekend to decompress

Photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash

There’s a new hope that soon we’ll all be vaccinated and some aspects of life will begin to look more normal. But for many of us, today still feels like a carbon copy of yesterday and the week before and last month. Each day includes three Zoom calls, staring out the window, eating snacks for dinner, and then accidentally checking work emails from the couch at 9 p.m. No wonder we feel burnt out.

The Scandinavian and Nordic countries have a tradition that might just offer some relief: breaking up the workweek with a celebration on Wednesday nights. In Swedish…

🍵 Today’s tip: This five-senses ritual will shut down the workweek and welcome the weekend.

To paraphrase an old adage, it’s never too late in a pandemic to start a new ritual — especially if it’s one that will make your 5pm work-from-home shutdown feel legit. As Sophie Lucido Johnson puts it in Forge, “you need a boundary between your work life and your home life.”

Here, according to Johnson, is what you need to do:

Turn your phone on airplane mode. Put on music that calms you. Set a timer for one hour, and heat up a big cup…

Today’s tip: Don’t say “no;” ask “when?”

“Just say no” can be useful productivity advice if you actually feel empowered to refuse your boss’s requests. But as Nir Eyal points out on Forge, for many of us, that’s not exactly realistic — which is why you should let your boss figure out what you should say no to.

Eyal advises sitting down with your manager and looking over your calendar and responsibilities together, so they can see how much of your time is already accounted for: “Now you can ask, ‘Is there anything not on my schedule, and when…


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