Aug 20, 2022Liked by Jean Hsu

I've been thinking along these lines too! Except that instead of trying to find a balance, I just try to maximize the amount of being in my life without my life getting off the rails.

There's tricks for that. For example I set up my laptop to be blocked every evening after 20:00. This way I'm kinda forced into being mode because there's suddenly nothing left to do (or at least nothing that my doing mode is pushing me towards).

There's an art to it. Whenever there is a quiet moment in my workday, like a free half hour between meetings, I catch the urge to do something useful with it, and just decide to wait and observe myself. This often still propels me to do something productive, but not necessarily the thing I expected and this time there's nothing forced to it. And then sometimes I don't do something productive, in which case that's probably just what I needed!

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This is something I've been struggling with for my whole career (and probably longer if I think back to my school days). I really appreciated the way you described the difference in these mindsets, and I definitely identified with the examples you shared. I worry a lot about how to minimize the time I'm spending at work so I can maximize the time I have for myself. That just results in overthinking and churning when I'm in my "life" time, and makes me obsess over my timesheet when I'm in my "work" time. I freak out when I have work thoughts and I'm supposed to be just enjoying my life outside of work, and I don't really enjoy that time anyway. Whether I'm in work mode or life mode, I'm distracted and anxious about the other mode. I'm not sure how to apply this information yet, but I am hopeful about changing up how I think about work-life balance, and finding a way to shift into balancing being and doing instead.

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