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T-SQL Tuesday #141: Work/Life balance

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It’s T-SQL Tuesday time and I’ve finally managed to put some words into a blog post again.  It’s been a few months since I’ve posted anything on my blog, things have been busy, and my motivation has been a little lacking.  However, this topic has inspired me to try and pull something together. Thanks to TJay(b|t) for hosting this month and for choosing a great topic.

TJay has asked us to share our personal journey with managing work/life balance.  It’s an interesting prompt, especially at this point in a global pandemic.  The last 18 months have caused a massive shift in my work/life balance, and at this point I’d have to say overall it’s been a positive change.

Like many of us, in March 2020 I was told to work from home full time for who knows how long.  Previously I had been working from home one day a week and commuting into the office the other four.  My commute wasn’t particularly long, but it did take about 45 mins each way for me to walk to the station and take the train into Southampton where my office is located.  Gaining that commute time back has given me a lot more flexibility as far as my working hours – which is in turn where I’ve been able to improve my work/life balance.

I’m lucky I work at a company, and on a team, that has transitioned smoothly into the work from home lifestyle.  The ability to work more flexibly is the biggest benefit that I see when working from home and it does allow for a more manageable work/life balance in my opinion.

I’ve talked about my love of CrossFit before, and it’s something I missed a lot while gyms were closed during the lockdowns over the last year.  Now that gyms are back open again I’ve got back into the habit of going 5-6 days per week.  Pre-working from home I would go to the gym in the evenings, checking in for either the 5pm or 530pm classes. Afterwards there was time for dinner, a little TV and not much else in the evenings.

Now that I work from home, I’ve been able to change my schedule to go to the lunch time class. It’s created a great break both mentally and physically in the middle of my workdays, allowing me to get away from my desk and spend an hour at the gym with my wife and friends. It really breaks up the day and since I’m not commuting, I don’t end my day any later than I used to.

I will say that it was a struggle at first to end my workdays on time. I found myself slipping into working later than I would if I had to leave the office to commute home. This was especially hard when we were in lockdown and there was nothing really to do. Luckily my wife tended to keep me on track here. We’d go out and walk together after work which meant I couldn’t just sit at my desk all evening. That helped a lot, and I feel like now I’ve got into a pretty good routine of ending my days at a reasonable time.

Although 2020/2021 has been a hard year I think overall at this point the changes have had a positive impact on my work/life balance. I’ll leave you with my keys to success:

  • A little fitness – I always feel better when I exercise, even if it’s just a walk and some fresh air so I ensure I make time for this.
  • A little support – I’m lucky that my wife always keeps me on track, but having someone in your corner be it friends or family, can make a huge difference.

Thanks again to TJay for hosting, and I look forward to reading everyone else’s responses.

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