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I try to get lots of sleep; can't do anything otherwise as I seem to require more than the average person's share.

Like @SimplisticFortitude I also live a little below my means, don't spend on things I don't need (like iphone upgrades; I don't even own an iphone). And actually make a point of finding time or scheduling time for fun things.

(If anyone has a trick for being independently wealthy, please pm me. Taking all suggestions.)
 

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[ihatethatphrase]

- i need alone time. this isn't an issue of money-or-not, i have to have SILENCE on a consistent schedule. i bike commute if i possibly can and that's one of the major ways i insert time in which it's just me and my head.

- i try like blazes to avoid taking contracts that will expect me to wear anything that needs to be ironed, separated into colours and whites, washed on some special cycle, removed and hung up on a hook before i can do any of the things that are part of my life. i wear runners for getting to work, and birkenstock sandals once i'm in there.

- i stay away from all discussions about work life balance in the real world. it's a corporate fad which will start going away and get replaced by schemas for greater productivity, the moment the next hint of recession comes down.

- i ignore all advice about how to do it from 'other people'. ime around here, the whole concept has been stood on its legs and is now having its how-to-do-it details evangelized by people who are either not intjs, not introverts, or not who-knows-what-else that explains the difference. and they are corporoids. so the model of it that's been erected and gets the air play in my universe is usually some corporation's idea of what will 'refresh' people while still maximizing the corporation's access to those same people at all points in their lives. if whatever you're hearing suggested doesn't refresh/relax you, then you need to ignore all of that, figure out what works right for you, and push back.

- i maintain fierce boundaries between me and my work. this goes directly counter to the mainstream concept of wlb as a matter of making the boundaries permeable, but it's how i roll. most of the time, the clients i work for don't know my home phone number. i don't work from home. i don't do home stuff at work. i don't carry mobile devices. i don't think about work when the door shuts on my ass at the end of a day. and i don't socialize with people outside the workplace, except in very very rare instances.
 

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@lilysocks post would make a lot of sense why I am failing to mesh with my environment right now.
that wouldnt' surprise me too much. of course i work in a specific niche of a specific industry, and in a specific location as well - and local culture does have a lot to do with how these things play out. but within my own working world, it seems like most of what people take for granted as being a 'balance' contribution is actually a drain for somebody like me. they seem to talk a lot about things that involve either scheduling (which i can't, ever, perceive as anything other than an encroachment on time that is meant to be 'free'), or interaction (which i don't have to talk about, right?).

the most classic example i always find is to point out that most people and corporations in the world where i live think of listening to the radio on your drive home as a 'relax' kind of thing. if it does work for you, then that's great for you, and great for the corporation. because you've just doubled up a little spadeful of 'balance' while doing what their demands on you would require you to do anyway. in other words, you've supposedly just 'balanced' yourself without taking a thing out of their budget or time. they tend to offer or suggest the kinds of thing that can't affect the functioning of their usual structures at all. workplace yoga and group athletics are two others that make me want to stab my eyes out. a lot of workplaces provide a tv set in their lunch/kitchen spaces, and they see that as something that adds to the balance as well.

but all of them are things that increase the imbalance for me, because they're all things that drain the life out of me. so if we're taking my balance seriously, then i not only can't use the options they take for granted as being 'good' things; i feel actively even more damaged by some of them. walking into a lunchroom where a fucking tv set's on gives me something that feels like a point on the spectrum somewhere between despair and madness.

so you got to make your own rules. and if they're disconcerted because they never thought about people like me when they made their nice plans, then to hell with them. 'work life balance' was dreamed up in the first place by people who are supposed to be experts on human life, and i'm a human.

so to my way of looking at it, that puts the onus on them to adjust to my view, not the other way round.
 

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There is a lot of great advice in this thread; I particularly agree with getting adequate sleep and not living above your means. If you don't need it, don't buy it. But every once in a while it helps to go out and buy yourself something nice, as a means of treating yourself so you feel like you're at least working for something. This isn't something you would want to do often though.

It's also important to have some hobbies. I work in Information Technology, so I'm in front of a computer or server all day. So outside work, I try to get outside as much as possible. There are some great hikes close to my house that I try to partake in as often as possible. Exercise certainly helps if you're stuck in a job where you're sedentary all day, as many of us are. Finally, in order to help keep my work life separate from my leisure time, I try to set boundaries with my boss and coworkers. I am fortunate that my institution provides me with a cell phone. It saves me money by not having a monthly plan, and they hook me up with a very nice iPhone. The downside is that my boss texts me on it constantly, and I have to remind him that I do not answer to him when I'm off the clock. Definitely try to catch that behavior early and stop it in time before you get burned out!
 

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I'm fortunate to work for a small business that allows me time off to take care of personal things during the day without using vacation time. In exchange, I will do work in the evenings and on weekends when the project deadline justifies it. They don't squawk about me taking a longer lunch break once a week to go workout with a trainer (they encourage it, in fact) and I don't squawk when they schedule meetings at 8am (which requires me to be at work 30-45 minutes earlier than normal).

I unplug as much as possible in the evenings and on weekends. Books, horseback riding, being outside... anything that ISN'T what I do M-F 8-5.

And, crockpots. Must have my crockpot so I don't have to cook at 9pm when I get home from being at work all day then being at the barn all evening.
 

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Having babies destroyed the last illusions that I had that I was in any way in control of any kind of life balance...

I'm probably too cynical for this topic. :frustrating:
 

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How do you manage to keep it? Any tricks that work for you?

Thank you :)
Be intentional with your time. Figure out what your priorities are and put them on the calendar and don't let the little unimportant stuff derail you. Good book on this - First Things First by Covey - First Things First: Stephen R. Covey, A. Roger Merrill, Rebecca R. Merrill: 9780684802039: Amazon.com: Books

Balance is a tricky business, too little time at home and your relationships there will suffer, too little time at work and your career will suffer which can also spill into your home life if you're not being able to keep up with the bills.

Financially speaking I like a combination of Warren Buffet's mentality of buy stuff like businesses that generate income, not things that depreciate in value like new cars, and Dave Ramsey's style of spending all your money on paper to make sure priorities are being met before you actually spend it. Obviously in order to buy things you have to have money, which comes from a combination of working and not spending everything you make.
 

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Having babies destroyed the last illusions that I had that I was in any way in control of any kind of life balance...

I'm probably too cynical for this topic. :frustrating:
The more I see posts like this the more I'm convinced that I should never have kids.
 

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The more I see posts like this the more I'm convinced that I should never have kids.
No, I didn't mean that. I just meant that whatever little rules and methods you make up, there are situations where life itself will test you to the limit and what wil you learn when the rules you made don't work anymore...

It was an anti-little-rules point, really. Not anti kids.
 

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Don't work at home. Keep plenty of time to relax, have your alone time. Live below your means, for example 20-25%, in case you ever need to make a career jump to stay happy (but your income may reduce). It's also great not having to worry about money all the time. It helps a lot to have a job that is actually enjoyable.
 

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The most important thing for me is to enjoy the job I have because as an INTJ I am terrible at hiding my feelings if i'm unhappy.

As for the balance, I need a lot of personal space but I am happiest when I have an equal relationship between work, socialising and alone time.

Unless I get my 1/3 work balance in there then I feel too guilty to socialise!
 

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How do you manage to keep it? Any tricks that work for you?
The answer to this would depend on whether my "work" is a vocation or just a job, but frankly, in either event, no serious effort at acquiring what others would consider balance is likely to be attempted by me. For different reasons, of course.
 
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