Balancing Work and Personal Life


macrumors 68020
Original poster
Jun 13, 2005
Am interested in knowing how other MR users balance their work lives and their personal lives.

Let me start by saying that I believe in hard work. But, at 29, I find that I can't work as hard as I did at say, 24. I'm at work every morning at 7, I'm home by 4, I work at home until 6. And on Monday I feel ok. But by the time Friday night rolls around, I feel like I have nothing left -- not just spent, but spent, bitter -- lost to myself, to some degree. I make sure I get 7-8 hours of sleep a night, but it doesn't seem to make any difference.

So, others. How do you balance your work and professional life? How late/how many hours do you allow yourself to work? How much work do you do doing your work day? How much time do you take "for yourself" per week, and per day?

How do you force yourself to the next day without dread, exhaustion and a sense of impossibility?

Yes. This is a surfacing of the Sunday night blues. Fine. For the record, I'm happier than I sound. :)


macrumors 68040
For me it's a state of mind thing. Maintaining a positive attitude and outlook can be hard, but doing so and attacking working tasks with relentless vigour is the only way to avoid being bogged down. Most importantly, however, is working at something you love - which I am fortunate enough to be able to say I do.


macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2006
I'm self-employed, and got away from the whole 9-5 thing, but being self-employed means working longer hours, but if it's something you enjoy, it's not too bad. More time on MR is a side benefit. :)


macrumors 603
Aug 20, 2005
Thank you Jah...I'm so Blessed
I really don't think about it...I just go with it. I tried writting out my day and stuff but I never stick to it. I always find time to hang around or rest(I'm not getting enough of this) and I work hard for the money which I'm not getting enough.

I do what I can do when I can do it.



macrumors 603
Do you have a family yet?

I've just started teaching, my wife travels during the week, we have two kids, I'm taking nine hours of graduate courses in an effort to finish this fall, I'm a part-time youth minister, I help administrate a web site for the youth of our diocese, and I fight depression and procrastinate quite a bit.

By Friday, I am worn out as well. If I take time to do some enjoyable chores, like yardwork, it helps revive me. I can't dwell on one thing too long, or it just digs in to me further. Accomplishing something simple can go along way.

The trick is to work when you're supposed to, because that's your quality of life. But, spend time with your family and for yourself everyday.


macrumors 601
Feb 10, 2004
What I find helps me put in the extra hours is to get along with my coworkers really well. I play on a softball team with them, we're starting a bowling team, we go out to the bar for drinks/pool/darts, etc.

When I'm at work, wether it's 8am on Monday or 7:30pm on Friday and we're putting in the extra hours, you're with people you genuinely like, and have things in common, even if it's just the things you've done together.

We all, more or less, enjoy what we do as well (I work at a non-profit so better like it 'cuz we could all make 10%+ more somewhere else) so that helps a lot. But, really, getting along with and doing things outside of work with the people you work with really helps me through long hours.

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
Sod off
I'm a grad student right now, which means that my work and personal life are one and the same. ;)

I don't work set hours these days, but I'm working harder than ever.


macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
Los Angeles
I typically work 50-60hrs a week, but my current gig is only 40. Of course I have a side gig on top of that so I'm back to the 50-60 number spread over 7 days.

It helps to enjoy what you do. If you don't enjoy what you do I think your primary concern should be getting a different job where you would be happy. It may not be easy but it's more rewarding, IMO. I'd rather work 10hr/day 6 days/week on a TV show or movie than 40hrs at some office.

It also helps to have hobbies to look forward too. On a regular basis I either play volleyball at the beach or go mountain biking and now that winter is coming around I'll be doing some snowboarding too.



macrumors 601
Oct 21, 2004
Every schedule and work load will vary according to the individual. As one aspect of the "balancing act", I've tried to make (i.e intentionally schedule, guard, fight for, i.e. say "no" to something which conflicts) exercise (play) as an important part of the daily routine. It's a good investment toward balance.


macrumors 6502a
What is this "personal life" of which you speak? :confused:

I hate grad school. :rolleyes:

Well, not really, or I wouldn't be here, but it is certainly difficult at time to keep things balanced. I try to make sure to build some "me" time into my schedule each week, but it doesn't always work.


macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
Location Location Location
If I was better at balancing out my work and personal life, I wouldn't be posting here. This totally gets into the way of my work. :eek:

skunk said:
Not having a boss helps. :)
But without a supervisor, I'd have no motivation to work. :eek:

I'm a PhD student, and I've got to tell you that I always seem to find time for my personal life. I've stopped caring about work. It's not priority #1. There doesn't seem to be enough time in the day for everything, though. I feel worn out all the time, but what I'll do is stop working, go and see my girlfriend, and the world is better for that hour or so. :)

In fact, since there's not enough time in the day, I'm only allowing myself to visit the Community, Photography, Current Events, and sometimes Buying Advice forums here at MacRumours. That's still too much, though. :( But in a way, I really don't want to cut MR out from my life completely. I enjoy it too much to stop. :eek:


macrumors 6502a
Jun 4, 2005
2,000 light years from home
thedude110 said:
Am interested in knowing how other MR users balance their work lives and their personal lives.
1 How do you balance your work and professional life?
2 How late/how many hours do you allow yourself to work?
3 How much work do you do doing your work day?
4 How much time do you take "for yourself" per week, and per day?

How do you force yourself to the next day without dread, exhaustion and a sense of impossibility?

I'm happier than I sound. :)
Good questions- I struggle with them to, and can not offer definitive answers - here's what I can say tonight:
1. Work while I am at work, and when I am not, try to not talk about it. Avoid checking work email at home, and obsessing over what I am doing at work, when I'm not there.
2. I work at least 40 hrs a week, at most 60. On average about 47 hrs a week. I have days every week I am willing to stay late, and days I am not. Having those days that I won't helps.
3. It's difficult to say how much I work each day, hard to quantify. I can say some days are very demanding, and I try to rise to the occasion. Other days are a bit lax, and I enjoy the hell out of them.
4. Time for myself each week- depends on if I am with someone or not. If you're married or living with someone, it's hard to seperate time spent with them and time for yourself, the lines blur. Kids can do the same. Often (like tonight) I am up late doing things for me, exploring my interests. But time to do the things you enjoy, without compromise - is time well spent for everyone in your life.

Good luck (to all of us) thedude110 - without being miserable or unhappy, these are still things that I struggle wiht too.


macrumors G3
May 24, 2005
"Work to live, don't live to work."

Hehe, easier said than done though. I work in I.T. for an investment bank so am forced to do stupid hours (8am to 6pm) while most of my friends have 9-5 jobs. It's a long day, I'm crap at getting up in the morning and my body clock seems to always be a couple of hours out for this time zone so even though I'm always tired I can never sleep til at least 2am... doesn't help when the alarm is set for 6. :rolleyes: I get home knackered and most days can't even be bothered to cook properly or go to the gym like I used to and I don't go out anywhere near as much as I used to :(

I used to work from home and was doing roughly 9-6 then but would take a good hour most days to go to the gym and what with not having to commute to the office 45 mins each way it left the evenings nice and free to do whatever. Being back at the office for the past 6 months has been tiring to say the least. Probably doesn't help that I'm up late on MacRumors or iChat or whatever most nights though :eek:

I've got 2 weeks left of my current contract and will then be unemployed :eek: Not sure what to do but I'm gonna start by having a good sleep :) I am worn out from work & stuff. I'm thinking seriously about a career change but not sure what it is I want to do. All I know is I don't want to do this crap and work these hours for the next 30 years, no matter how good the money is. I either need more 'me' time or a job that interests me more... ideally both!


macrumors 65816
Sep 30, 2005
I find it tough. At the moment I am working part time while I study in a job that I used to do full time, which makes it difficult as every one I work with expects the same amount of work as I did when I worked full time. Coupled with the large amount of time I'm expected to put in at the recording studios as part of my study, I don't really get much of a personal life at the moment. I'm seriously contemplating jacking my current job in, because my studies are suffering, but unfortunately it pays well and the course is expensive. :mad:


macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2006
Carlisle, Up Norf!
I find it rather difficult to get time to 'myself'

Work from 9 till 7/8 Monday to Friday
Steward for my local football (soccer) team on a Saturday from half 11 till about 6. Some Tuesday nights, meaning I go home early from one job to go to another and sometimes dont get home till about 11:30
On a Sunday I work at 'Game' thats another four hours 12 till 4

I do get out on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, but trying to find time for myself and my girlfriend is hard. Got to be done tho, if I want nice things like new Macs. ;)


macrumors G3
Mar 9, 2002
If you see how you earn your money as a job, then you need a career change. ;)


macrumors 68040
May 27, 2003
Asheville, NC
I try to leave work at work at the end of the day. I get in early (usually between 7 and 8), leave around 5, and then with the exception of checking email every once in a while, don't do any work-stuff until it's time to go in again. Then again, it depends on the time of year. Lately I've been working from home a bit since it's the start of the semester, and we're trying to get students into their online accounts and whatnot.

On kind of a tangent though, my girlfriend of six months and I both work at the same place, so we have a tendency to talk about work a lot on our time off. We try not to overdo it though, and sometimes I'll catch us doing it and say "no more work talk."

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
I'm trying to get that right at the moment despite a never-ending torrent of stupid deadlines.

After a few years of working part-time with some freelancing thrown in about 5 years ago and now full-time for the last 5, learning to prioritise and making the most of free time — especially weekends — is like rediscovering a habit long forgotten.

Early to bed and early to rise is my modus operandi, though... waking naturally without an alarm clock. Can't function without a full ration of sleep supplemented by the occasional nap.