A lot of people want to know which jobs are best for work-life balance, and it’s true that it’s easier to make time for yourself and your family in some occupations than it is in others. Generally though, work-life balance isn’t about the job, it’s about you: the choices you make, the boundaries you set, and the way you communicate those choices and boundaries to others.
Many of the smartest things that have been said about achieving optimal work-life balance can be condensed into easy-to-digest quotes. Here are some of the best examples:
“Either you run the day or the day runs you.” - Jim Rohn
Jim Rohn was an entrepreneur and motivational speaker who passed away in 2009. In the age of smartphones, social media, and relentless notifications, Rohn’s words carry even more weight. Don’t let apps boss you around. Instead, work with tools that are designed to let you take charge.
“No one ever said on their deathbed ‘I wish I’d spent more time on my business.’” - Arnold M. Zack
Wise words from a high-profile American lawyer. The implication here is that you’re more likely to die wishing you’d spent more time with your family than more time at the office (or, in the 21st century, staring at your laptop at home). We couldn’t find any famous examples of anyone saying they wished they’d spent more time with family, but George Harrison’s last words were reportedly, “Love one another,” which is close.
“We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.” - Arianna Huffington
The co-founder of the Huffington Post knows more than a thing or two about success, having made an estimated $100 million from various business ventures over the years. The lesson here is to use your time efficiently and purposefully. Don’t try and do every single thing as soon as you get a notification reminding you to do it. Dedicating time to prioritizing and organizing will save you so much time in the long run.
“Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management.” - Betsy Jacobson
Today’s technology wants to tell you about everything that’s happening in your life, and everyone else’s, as and when it happens. Seemed like a great idea back when you bought that first smartphone, didn’t it? But when you’re being bombarded by distractions 24/7, very little is really being communicated. To allow meaningful, effective communication to take place, you have to put up boundaries to keep those distractions out.
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Before you dismiss this as some tree-hugging hippy nonsense, consider how it might apply to communication in your working life. Of course, sometimes there is real urgency in business, but do most things really require an immediate response? If your concern is that if you don’t get a response now, then you probably won’t get one at all, then it could be that the problem is your working culture and the communication systems it’s built around.
All of these quotes really come down to the same thing: you’ll only achieve work-life balance when you choose to. Stop using tools and systems that interrupt, distract, and try to do everything for you. Remember how annoying the Microsoft Paperclip was? Every notification in your life today is a mutation of that infuriating paperclip’s observation that “It looks like you’re writing a letter.” Woice has no notifications because it’s a communication tool that lets you make your own decisions, and doesn’t try to tell you how, where, or when to do your job.