One Way My Wife Says I Have Improved My Work-Life Balance

Directional sign with Work LifeIt is difficult for me to have work-life balance.  I find it hard to manage the 24 hours I am given during the day between my home life and work life.  When I am at work, I feel guilty for not being at home.  When I am at home, I know I should be working.

This situation is compounded by the nature of my work.  Three factors in particular add to the problem:

  1. I do not go into an office.  So my work and home life interact with one another on a daily basis.
  2. My work happens in and outside of the 8-5 work week.  It is very common for people to need to meet with me in the evenings and on the weekends, in addition to during the “work day.”
  3. There is never an ending point.  I always have something I can work on and, thanks to technology, I have the ability to do so at any moment of the day.

Can you relate?  If you had the ability to work 24 hours a day without a home life or rest, would there be enough for you to do too?  Of course the answer to these is yes or you would not still be reading.

Well, I want to share with you a rule my wife and I have instituted into my work-life schedule.  I heard about it through a colleague.  It is called the Two Thirds Rule.

The idea is that there are three thirds in a day (morning, afternoon, and evening).  The Two Thirds Rule states that you are not going to work for one of those thirds.  

It is simple to state, but difficult to imagine actually doing.  I know.  There are times when I have to travel and am not able to stick to it for obvious reasons.  Of all the strategies I have tried over the years, though, this is the one that my wife has most appreciated.  Of course it takes commitment on my part, but my family is worth it.

What are some strategies you have implemented to bring balance to your work and home life?  Please share in the comments section.

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  1. Trevor

    One thing I did when I started the job I have now was request a separate business phone instead of getting my work number and email pushed to my personal phone. I don’t always turn it off in the evening but I definitely leave it with my work stuff and don’t look at email until I get to the office.

    August 27, 2013
    • adamsuter

      Great tip, Trevor. I like that a lot. If one can’t get separate phones, it might be worth it to turn the phone off or at least use the Do Not Disturb feature (for iPhone users). That is a great boundary.

      August 27, 2013
  2. addie | culicurious

    I work from home too so I can identify with these challenges. Something I try to be very diligent about is finishing work by the time I pick my husband up in the afternoon. That way our work days end at the same time then we can spend the rest of the evening together.

    August 30, 2013
    • adamsuter

      Thanks for sharing that Addie. I like that a lot. Seems like a great boundary to have.

      August 30, 2013