Ask Lauren: How Do I Find the Right Work-Life Balance?

As you know from my editor’s letter this month, our April theme here on is Work It. Which means that we’re covering tons of topics that apply to all you working girls out there. So, the other day when I saw a work-related question pop up from one of our readers in our email inbox, I knew it was one that was worth talking about. This reader asked me how to find the right work-life balance—a challenge that is often times not easy to achieve. Today I’m going to tell you how I’ve learned to achieve this balance through my own work experiences.

The most important thing I’ve learned about balancing my life is that, although it can be easy to fall into the habit of bringing work into your personal life at all hours of the day, you must separate the two. I have found that I need to have some time at night where I don’t check my phone, don’t send emails and actually refrain from even thinking about what’s going on with work. Think of it as scheduling personal time—even block out your calendar for it! It’s important to go home, decompress, and give your mind a break. Yes, that means putting your phone in the other room for a few hours, as hard as it may be.

When I started Paper Crown with my dear friend Maura, we were living together as roommates, which was great for so many reasons! But at the end of the day, we had to learn to just be roommates at home, not business partners 24/7. I had to actually practice not talking about work with Maura when we were eating dinner in the evenings or relaxing on the weekends. Eventually, it made it so that we were way more productive when we were in the office because we knew that was our time to get things done. And, in turn, our friendship was better than ever because we respected each other’s personal time.

I recommend blocking out time, whether that’s a weekend day or a few hours one night each week, where you can catch up on things like laundry, calling friends and family or just reading a good book. I also highly suggest having a weekend with no plans once in a while—it’s such a treat.

How do you achieve the right work-life balance for you?

Everyone is different, so you all might have some different tips than the ones I just shared. Leave yours in the comments below—I’d love to read them.

XO Lauren

Photo: Lucky Mag March 2013