A Day in The Life & Work/Life Balance

by Sarah on September 16, 2014 · 7 comments

in Life

Over the last few months, I’ve been pretty absent from this blog. I used to post 5 days a week. Now, I’m lucky if I post twice a week…maybe. Work has completely taken over my life. And any other free time I have is devoted to marathon training. While I’m not posting this ‘Day in the life’ to “humble brag” about how busy I am (believe me, I would LOVE to not be this busy) but to open a conversation about work/life balance. So here’s what one day last week looked like:


6:50—Alarm goes off. Press snooze once

6:56—Second alarm goes off. Press snooze…again.

7:04—Third alarm goes off. Okay, time to get up! Head to the bathroom to wash my face/brush teeth/put contacts in.

7:10—Wake up Koji and take him out. Yes, I have to wake him up. He’s the laziest dog in the morning. He will happily sleep in until 9am most days. Jealous.

7:20-8:00—Feed Koji. Get dressed/do makeup/style hair. I shower at night, so days where I am not up early to run, my “get ready” routine is a lot faster.

8:00—Make breakfast and pack it to take to work.

8:15—Leave for work.

8:30-11:45—Eat breakfast at my desk and then work, work, work. I go to meetings, stare at/edit word docs all day. We’re in the final week before launching a new product so things are hectic to say the least. Probably won’t get everything I need to get done today done at work.

11:45—Head back home to take Koji out. On days where Koji doesn’t go to doggy daycare, I go home at lunch and take him on a walk. It gives his bladder a break and we have some fun on a walk. I feel awful leaving him all cooped up alone in a house all day, so this is our happy medium between that and paying for daycare everyday (lots of $$). I’m thankful I have a job that’s within a 15 minute drive away.


12:45—Walk is done, head back to the office.

1:00—Eat lunch…at my desk. :( Catch up on some personal emails.

1:30—Work, work, work. Things are crazy hectic and I have had an eye twitch for the last 3 days from the stress and staring at my computer too long.

4:30—Leave the office and head home. Yup…definitely didn’t get enough done today.

4:45-5:30—Take Koji out and play with him for a second. I have been doing this thing lately where I’ll come home and after I put everything away and change out of my work clothes, I’ll lay down on the floor with him and play. He gets in such a playful mood when I get down on his level. He’s grunting out of control. Then I get ready for my run.

5:30—Out the door for my 9-mile run. I’ve had such a bad day, the last thing I really want to do is do a training run. But it ended up being a pretty fantastic run. Ended up running marathon-pace the whole time.

7:00—Back home. Bernie is home from work now. Say hello and start stretching/foam rolling. Play with Koji.

7:30—Hop in the shower.

8:00—Start making dinner. Tonight on the menu is whole wheat spaghetti with meat sauce with ground turkey. Plus a side of charred broccoli, Bernie’s favorite.


8:30—Bernie is back from the gym just in time to eat. Eat dinner and catch up on our days.

9:00—Clean up after dinner and open my computer…sigh…time to do more work.

9:00-1:00am—Catch up on the work that I didn’t finish that day. Working on documentation is such a bore. Comparing one word doc to another, cross-checking everything. My eyes hurt. Around 10:30 I say good night to Bernie, who is going to bed. So jealous.

1:00am—Turn off the bad TV in the background and go to bed.


Now, this day is a bit out of the ordinary. I don’t always work until 1:00am every night. But, I often work for a couple hours after eating dinner until I go to bed. When I do that, I get more work done. But what I don’t get done?

  • Spend quality time with Bernie
  • Any house-related things (cleaning, putting away things, etc.)
  • Reading (I miss it!)
  • Relaxing and unwinding
  • Personal things (blog work, answering personal email, talking to friends)

I miss out on a lot.

People are always talking about the need for work/life balance. A couple of years ago, I felt like I had a good work/life balance. I did my work at work, got shit done, and had personal time to do whatever I needed or wanted to do. I never felt like I had to take work home or even really thought about work once I walked out the door of my office. Now, that’s not the case. I’ve been given more responsibility at work, and that I am appreciative for, but it also comes with more pressure. It’s also the nature of the work I do. It’s a high-stress job sometimes. I have to do what I have to do. And I feel better at work when I don’t feel completely swamped, and working at night helps with that. But I also end up neglecting ME.

I’ve had to turn down a lot of cool blog opportunities lately because I just can’t add another thing to my plate. It’s overflowing and I feel like I’m drowning. But at the same time, I’m a really ambitious person. I take on more at work because I want to. I take on more personally (hello, training for a marathon at the worst time possible!!!) because I like the challenge. But I’m learning more and more that I have to cut myself some slack or else I’m going to go mad.

Thankfully there is a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel. We launched our new product this week, so the urgency of my work has reduced a bit. I won’t be working late into the night, at least not for a while. I am continuing to fight the battle and reestablish what’s really important to me. I’ve challenged myself to use the rest of September and October to reevaluate what’s important to me. I need some more balance in my life. But is this just what happens when you “grow up?” Are you expected to be “busy” all the time, and put your own personal needs on the back burner?

Readers: How do you establish a work/life balance?

What area do you need to work on?


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