Join LinkedIn Learning Developer Instructor for an in-depth discussion in this video Work-life balance, part of Career Clinic: Developer Insights.
(gentle upbeat music) - I try to take advantage of the advantages that I have in being freelance. And the ability to work from different places, the ability to travel, the ability to, at times, choose what projects I work on, so remembering why you did it, whatever your motivation is, if it's the flexibility, if it's the freedom, if it's being your own boss, or traveling around and hopefully taking advantage of those things. If you went solo to be flexible and you're not flexible at all, then maybe you're not doing it right or maybe it's not for you.
But for me, it's remembering why I did it and kinda reassessing back to those original goals and appreciating what it has afforded me to be able to do. - For someone like me, work play balance could be very challenging because there are times when my schedule is strictly being maintained by my clients, so the way I like to do this is this, leave your work at work. Once you're done with that, once you're with the kids, it's 100% about the kids. What you shouldn't do is when you're coding, you're taking care of two kids at the same time.
Doesn't help either of the two. And then divide them into tasks. So, kids, too, right. They're very good at doing certain things that they like. If they're gonna watch a movie for two hours, feel free to code, but if they are with you and we are playing, well, do not bring coding as part of it, right, so you've gotta have that balance right there. - One of the things that I learned from my parents was this idea of clearly demarking where the line between work and life is. So, saying after a certain time of day, like 5:00, I am no longer working.
That means turn off the computers, put your phone away, just stop working, and then don't think about work 'cause if you're thinking about work, you're still working. Another thing is, if you have a home office like I do, to make a clear physical separation. Just because of the configuration of our front room, we used the living room as our office and then we used one of the bedrooms as our living room and because of that, it was like the work environment was always in the middle of where we were, so we were always working. And then when we moved, we made it so that we have a physical separation between the work areas and the life areas and truly invest energy in having a life outside of work.
- Work life balance for me is about prioritizing so a lot of people think that work life balance is giving enough time to your family or being able to go on enough vacations and I was able to do that even when I was in startup but I was not happy or satisfied with myself even then. My priorities were focusing on my career, moving forward on my career and once I was able to focus on those, I think I felt like I had achieved a work life balance.
So, work life balance is about prioritizing and working on your priorities more than anything else. - I can spend a day working and I can take time out to say, okay, I wanna make some bread today. So, in the morning I'm gonna get things started and then a few hours later, after I've worked for a while, oh, okay I just need to spend 15 minutes in the kitchen moving the bread onto its next phase. So, I have that advantage rather than having to save that sort of thing for the weekend or the evening. But it's important for me and it's something that I constantly struggle with, not to get distracted.
So, I have some practices in place, I make sure that I know when I'm taking a break, okay, I'm gonna take the next half hour, the next hour and have lunch and not just be like, well, okay, I'll go do this and not think about when I'm gonna be done with it. But I have to recognize when I need to take a break because without other people around me it can be hard to register how much time has gone on and also I don't have as many opportunities for people to distract me in such a way that I can recognize that, oh yeah, I kind of do need a break right now.
I've been focused here for too long. So, to be able to stop and register, I'm not getting anything done right now, I'm gonna go take a break and then come back to this. - Make sure you're always doing what you want and so that means if you're working on a side project until one in the morning, and you know that you want to do it, go right ahead and do it. Your body will adjust to it and you'll learn from that experience. For example, if you work until one in the morning every night on something and you find, wow, during the day I have no energy to do my full time paying job, well, then you've learned to make adjustments for that and then you do what I think is my second piece of advice which is set physical boundaries for yourself.
One thing I try not to do, and I still fail at this sometimes, is I never ever try to write code when I'm lying in a bed or sitting in a bed. Think about this, when you're in a bed, you're there to do what, you're there to sleep. When you're in your shower, you're there to clean yourself. When you're in your closet, you're there to dress yourself. When you're at your desk, you're usually there to work. Don't trick your brain into thinking that you should be doing another thing when you're in your bed because if you go to sleep your brain will be in the mentality of, I'm usually here writing code and things like that. Make sure you set physical specific boundaries for what you do where you do it and when you do it.
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