The real reason we struggle with work life balance

Listen on:

Recently I’ve had multiple clients ask for help because they are struggling with work life balance. They love the fast pace of their job, have a great team, get along with their manager, but they want to do it all and are starting to worry about getting burned out.

They know that working nights and weekends is not sustainable and is going to make them resent their job. But they also want to do all the things and really struggle saying no or pushing back on deadlines.

Knowing how to have work life balance is not really this issue. You literally already know how to turn off your computer, put your phone down, and walk away.

The real reason we struggle with work life balance is because we suck at honoring our commitments to ourselves.

Let’s say you decided you were going to work from 8 am – 6 pm, Monday – Friday and only check your email on your phone twice each night.

Escalations aside, leadership is not telling you to jump back online and finish your work. You are the one thinking all the tiny and sneaky thoughts. These tricky thoughts sound like:

  • I’m just going to check my email so I’ll be caught up in the morning.
  • It’s going to be so much easier to do this project without distractions and over a glass of wine tonight.
  • I just need to send this one thing out before I forget.

These thoughts sound productive and like you are helping yourself, but they are exactly the reasons you struggle with having a balance of work and life.

NOT doing these things is literally how you create that balance, but at the same time, NOT doing these things often feels really uncomfortable.

If you’ve made a commitment to yourself, you have to start honoring it just as much as you would honor a deadline with your team. Each time you stick to your own commitment, you will start building that trust with yourself and it will get easier.

Coaching is the fastest way to learn how to do this because those thoughts that keep you from honoring your commitment to yourself are slippery. They sound so helpful that you need an external view to help you not just find them, but know how to deal with the discomfort of not responding to them.  

This is such an important skill to learn. It’s the key to being able to let your mind rest from work and actually enjoy the time away from the office without the guilt around what you “should” be doing. If you let yourself rest and take a break from thinking about work, it will also make you more productive and more efficient when you are at work.

When you trust yourself to stick to your non-working hours just as much as you trust yourself to hit your work deadlines, that’s when it really gets good.

You got this.

Want help figuring out how to have work life balance with your job? Let’s jump on the phone and get you started. Grab time on my calendar HERE.

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Hey, I’m Lindsay Lyman

I spent the last ~12 years growing my career at Amazon. I’ve built teams, launched new products, and created my own jobs. As a certified coach, I teach people how to manage the noise in their head to feel motivated and valued at work again.

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