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Tips on managing work-life balance

by Taylor Kovar

Hi Taylor: This last year has been hard in a lot of ways, but I really enjoyed the change of pace regarding work and family time. Now that I'm going back to work, any tips on managing that work/life balance? - Mina

Hi Mina: As we slowly emerge from the craziest year of most of our lives, I think this is going to be one of the biggest questions. How do we get back to practicing self-care after a year in which so many people were strictly in survival mode? Work-life balance was important before the pandemic, and it will be even more important as we readjust to normal life. As you strive to find that happiness equilibrium, here are things to consider.

1. Be honest about your needs. Two ways to ensure your work-life balance stays out of whack: lying to yourself about personal needs, and not being upfront with an employer about the same thing. The first step is to take a breath and think about how many hours of the day are actually going to the things you care about. If you spend eight hours in the office, one hour at lunch, an hour and a half commuting, and eight hours sleeping, that leaves about five hours a day for the rest of your life to happen. Quite frankly, that's a generous schedule for a lot of the workaholics out there. Alternatively, if everyone's been isolating at home and you don't ever get a moment away from your family to focus on work, that's just as difficult. This is why you need to make sure your boss is aware of what you're going through. If you need more time at home, or just an adjusted schedule, it makes a world of difference if you're able to be up front about it.

2. Allow yourself to disconnect.
I've talked to so many people who worry about getting in trouble or getting fired or falling behind. When I ask them why they have those fears, they realize there's no basis for any of them. You don't have to check emails all night. You can go off the grid over the weekend. Unless you take a position that requires you to be on call 24/7, you shouldn't have any concerns about turning off your phone or putting a project on hold until you go back to work the next morning. Don't ignore the rest of your life, especially in these trying times, just because work feels overbearing.

The pandemic turned everything upside down. Hopefully, you'll be able to find the right work-life balance as things go back to normal. In the meantime, pat yourself on the back for making it through the last year!

Taylor Kovar 4-12-21
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Legal Disclaimer: Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. To submit a question to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@GoFarWithKovar.com, or via USPS to Taylor Kovar, 415 S 1st St, Suite 300, Lufkin, TX 75901.

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