This is a phrase I've heard a lot over the past few years. Ever since Junior Year of college, when I started to think about graduation and the real world, all the articles I've read have talked about the idea of work-life balance. I never really understood it, I thought it would be something down the line, but it is surely not.
Since starting my new social media job, I've realized that work-life balance is alive and real in the world of us twenty somethings. It's something we're all struggling with, as we take our new grown Bambi legs and start walking on our own, right into our first big people jobs and back into our parents' homes.
Your first job is really overwhelming. You're suddenly responsible for a whole lot more than you've ever been used too. You have a boss, you have a desk, you have responsibilities and projects that have to be done day to day. You have deadlines, and have to make sure everything is done to the best of your ability. This isn't like school, you don't get a grade, this doesn't just affect you. You affect your co-workers and your bosses, and the entire company.
When you think of it like that, it can seem really overwhelming.
As a social media coordinator, I'm the face of the company so to speak and that is very scary when you think about it. Obviously you're a face behind a computer, behind an account, but you're responsible for the brand's social presence.
When I realized that, it kind of stressed me out and made me nervous. I've since gotten over that and remain confident in the content I produce and have learned so much in only two months.
The other thing about social media, is that it's timely. We all know this. Social media is the future and it's something that is immediate. If something is happening, you need to be on top of it. There is no leaving it for Monday morning.
With that, it's very hard to separate work and home. In social media, work never stops and it could be hard to stop the habit. Posting an Instagram or Tweet while I'm at home on a Saturday afternoon is no big deal, but I (like other people) have to remind myself to not get sucked into a hole. Don't dive into projects that are due next week, on the weekends, try not to answer emails that aren't urgent, etc.
At first I didn't understand this, I felt the need to do everything as soon as possible and remain on my game 24/7. Social media is 24/7 but I don't have to be.
It's very important, to have a life outside of work and not be tempted to work all day, everyday. There is always going to be things that need to get done but the thing is, your job is not your life. You need to make time to do things you enjoy, outside of work. Those are the things that make you happy and shape you, your experiences make you who you are.
You are not your job and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you can make a life you love.
I really have been struggling with this and I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a few anxiety attacks over it. But I've learned over the past two months that I can work my butt off at the office, get stuff done, and have a relaxing weekend, then do it all over again the following week.
I do this by creating to-do lists, getting into the office early, only answering extremely urgent emails while at home, and reminding myself that it's a job, it's not my entire life. I'm still working on figuring out the perfect work-life balance, if it even exists.
The sooner you realize what works for you in relation to work-life balance, the sooner you can break the habit. I don't want to be so obsessed and worrisome over my job that I forget to go out and live a life that I love, that I've created for myself.
Work and life have to be separate, maybe not all the time, but most of the time.
Does anyone else struggle with this? How do you solve work-life balance?