How To Perfect Work/Life Balance (Without Quitting Your Job)

This week, the CEO of Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) made headlines around the world for quitting his $100 million job to spend more time with his family. Mohamed El-Erian made the decision after his 10-year old daughter presented him with 22-point list outlining all the events he had missed during the past year. Here are ten life/work hacks you need to try before your own kids guilt-trip you out of a job.

Business dad picture from Shutterstock

Like most parents with a full-time job, I occasionally feel the pang of neglect-based guilt. Am I spending enough time with the kids? Do they feel like I give them enough attention? Am I documenting and appreciating each milestone, or am I too distracted with work? Fortunately, I work for a company that’s pretty accommodating in this regard, but no matter how much time you devote to your family, it can sometimes feel like you’re not doing enough.

This is precisely what prompted Mohamed El-Erian to quit his position as CEO of a $2 trillion global investment fund. In a blog post for financial site Worth, El-Erian explained how his daughter’s daddy-absentee list provided him with the wake-up call he needed:

The list contained 22 items, from her first day at school and first soccer match of the season to a parent-teacher meeting and a Halloween parade. As much as I could rationalize it – as I had rationalized it – my work-life balance had gotten way out of whack, and the imbalance was hurting my very special relationship with my daughter.
I was not making enough time for her. Work-life balance was an initiative that we had been devoting more time to at PIMCO. But that knowledge did little to dampen this very personal wake-up call. And it is one of the main reasons why I decided to make a major professional change.

Unfortunately, most of us can’t afford to follow in El-Erian’s footsteps. Instead, here are Lifehacker’s greatest hacks that will hopefully make your work/life balance just a little bit better. Click on the headlines to go to each article.

Achieving Work/Life Balance Means Changing How You Think

Work and life are inextricably linked but that doesn’t mean we should revert to the past and try to separate these two worlds. Instead, we need to re-frame how we think about work and life.

How To Stop Working And Go Home At Night

You might not have the willpower to just leave on time at the end of every day, you may feel like you have to stay late, or maybe you’re on a roll or your coworkers are still there. Still, there are ways to coax yourself to leave.

Set A Time Limit For Tomorrow’s Workday Before You Leave The Office

As the workday draws to a close, we often stay just a little bit longer to get a few things done. Set a hard limit on how long you’ll stay at work the night before.

The Real Benefits Of Regular Family Meals (Beyond Good Food)

Family dinners aren’t just for the holidays. They actually have benefits far outside of sharing that ham or lamb feast among people you care about.

Balance Work And Life Better With The Right Support Strategy

When creating a plan to balance work and life, we can easily forget that we don’t live in a bubble. Inc suggests coming up with a plan to lean on certain people to help keep up the work-life balance.

Use The Day Grid Balancer To Recalibrate Your Work-Life Balance

Balancing work, family life, personal time and more can be quite a tricky task compared to simply managing your time and tasks in the workplace. Use this handy worksheet to work on your life balance.

Five Important Points About Flexibility And Work/Life Balance

If you’re struggling with balancing life and work commitments and/or trying to move to a more flexible workplace arrangement, here are five aspects of the issue that are worth considering.

Why You Need More Margin In Your Life (And How To Get It)

One of the more common problems with driven people is a lack of margin. They cram their schedules so full of activities and busyness that their emotional, physical and spiritual health suffers. This can be all avoided. By being more deliberate and making simple changes, the risk of burnout drastically goes down, and a greater feeling of balance and engagement is possible.

Balance Visualises How Much Time You Spend At Work

Work-life balance is an important part of healthy living, but it’s sometimes difficult to know exactly how much time you’re spending at work. Balance uses data from Moves to visualise where you’re spending your time.

Decline Meetings For Better Work-Life Balance

Maintaining a good work-life balance is hard. Harvard Business Review suggests that extraneous meetings are one of the reasons many people get kicked into the 60-hour work week. You should just say no to meetings whenever you can.

Got any work/life tips of your own? Share your personal ethos in the comments section below.

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