Thursday, 21 April 2011

Learning to balance

I can't believe I've only written one other blog post this month. I was doing so well! One of the hardest parts of adjusting to the new job has been balancing work and my life in general. I know it sounds cliché, but it's quite difficult to find a work/life balance when you start a new gig. And if you don't figure it out quickly, you'll find yourself in an unhealthy pattern of stress.

This isn't the first time I've had a full-time job, but it's the first time I've been delegated this much responsibility. I love it, but I need to learn to allow myself some down time as well. One of my favourite things to do in my down time is update this blog. Straight From The Curls is my baby, and I love coming here and sharing little anecdotes and stories from my life with you.

But because I spend my whole day on the computer dealing with another aspect of the WWW, I come home and crash. I have thoughts of coming here and talking to you all about what's running through my mind, but by the time I get home and unwind, all I want to do is hit the hay.

This has to change. And it will. I promise to sort myself out and figure out a balance somehow, so that I can do the things I love more often.

I've often wondered though, about people who do the 9-5, commute across the city, and still have the time and energy to come home and do so much more. By the time I come home, I barely have enough time to cook dinner before it's lights out.

I did some research this morning and discovered an article in the Vancouver Sun addressing this very issue. The work-life crunch: Who has time for fun? highlights how many people are struggling with the 'time economy'... especially as technology keeps us wired in for more and more hours each day.

I know in my case, I'm always online. I've been working with the Internet for quite a few years now, and I'm always tuned in to what's happening. I love the work I do.

But being so wired in all the time... it can get scary. I never get the sense that I'm 'unavailable'. I'm literally just a click away, whether by a phone call, text, e-mail, tweet or... poke.

Some of the statistics mentioned in the article state:
  • The proportion of Canadians experiencing high levels of time crunch, according to the report, grew from 16 per cent in 1992 to 20 per cent in 2005. About 23 per cent of women felt time-pressured and 17 per cent of men.

  • Adults providing care to seniors grew from 17 per cent in 1996 to 20 per cent in 2006. More women (23 per cent) took care of seniors compared to men (16 per cent).

  • Time spent on social leisure activities dropped from 15 per cent in 1998 to 12 per cent in 2005.
I don't know if you'd agree with me, but I think these are some drastic increases in a short amount of time. So it begs the question: Am I really bad at balancing my work/life or am I just a victim of the times, and hence, a statistic?

I don't want to be a statistic, that's for sure. So my goal in the coming weeks is to find a solution that works for me. I'm not quite sure what that solution is at the moment, but I'm sure I'll figure it out. Plus it helps that the weather is getting nicer outside... it means I won't want to rush directly home after work. 

Anyway, if you have some tips to help me better manage my work/life situation, I'd love to hear them. What works for you, and how do you find time to do the things you love, outside of work?


Image courtesy of Google Images

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