How to Avoid Putting Work Ahead of your Personal Life

In today’s asphalt jungle, it seems people are trying to outcompete as to who is working more hours, who is more stressed out and who has a better employment position. Although people can value whatever they want – work, possessions, money – some individuals may have the best of intentions by working more but are neglecting what they truly care about: personal life, friends and family.

With constant connectivity through our smartphones, tablets and laptops, our productivity levels can soar, but the border between work and our personal life can become a blur. It’s a common scenario to see a friend or a loved one sending some emails, shooting off texts and doing some touch-ups on documents after hours.

Of course, the defense that workers make is that they feel like they need to do the aforementioned in order to keep their job. As the labour market and national economy are on shaky ground, employees must show their employers that they’re infallible and an asset to the company. This is certainly understandable.

Career experts have likened today’s environment to juggling balls over time. For instance, Jim Bird, founder of Work Life Balance, told Monster that people should compare the amount of balls people juggled in the 1960s to today: back then, people would juggle four balls, in the 1980s, households would juggle eight balls, in the ‘90s it would be 16 and now it’s 400 balls.

If you’re concerned about putting your work ahead of your personal life then here are five tips to remedy this problem:

Off-hours schedule

For some professionals, it’s difficult to be unavailable because you may be a manager, consultant or an executive. However, every worker should consider establishing an off-hours schedule, a time set aside for you and whatever it is you do when you’re not working. For instance, if you work a standard 9 to 5 shift then set aside time for you and/or your family from 5 until bedtime and check your email or phone just before bed.

Turn it off

As soon as you complete your workday, turn off your smartphone, computer or tablet and just be digital-free for a few hours. If your Apple iPhone is turned on and near you then you’re likelier to start checking your email and speaking with your colleagues. In today’s workplace, you’re always staring at a screen so for a few hours during personal time refrain from doing so.

Note: if you ever get the urge to check your phone, get a family member to hide the mobile device somewhere in the house.


It’s the weekend; Saturdays and Sundays are what we live for (unless we’re shift workers). Now that it’s Friday night, there’s no point in thinking about work or Monday morning. These two days should be exclusively meant for your personal life and to spend time with those you care about: friends, family members and/or pets. From Friday at 5 p.m. until Sunday before bed, the concept of work should be free from your mind and a foreign idea.

In other words, only check your phone or email prior to bedtime Sunday.


When you’re playing basketball with your nephew, going for a jog with your spouse or wrestling with your dog, it’s rather difficult to be on your smartphone or signing documents. Therefore, in order to enhance your work-life balance, try to exercise at least one hour a day, especially in the evening. By doing this, you improve your health, think less about work and stop checking your phone.

Weekly event

Although it can be difficult to attend an event or go out with fellow people who enjoy your dedication to yoga because you’re fatigued from work, heading outside the home one night a week can help you refrain from focusing on work. Whether it’s yoga, bridge or a film festival, attending a fun, weekly event can expand the gap between the office and your personal life.

Some people live to work rather than working to live. If you work at a job that you don’t necessarily enjoy being at, you should then consider this: the employment position is simply meant to put groceries on the table instead of imbibing your life. You won’t be on your deathbed wishing you worked more.

How do you widen the gap between your work life and your personal life? Let us know in the comment section.