Almost everyone searches for “it” in their job. Is it gaining success? Is it money? No, I am talking about work-life balance, and setting boundaries while working from home makes this even more challenging.

It does not matter where you sit on the leadership totem pole. We are all human and our needs are mostly identical. While our individual ratios of work and life vary, our needs are the same. We are all craving to better manage the work-life balancing act. 

Most companies and organizations will stress the importance of a healthy work-life balance. They will preach and emphasize it, they stress that it is an important aspect of their culture. But, here’s the dirty secret—they have no control over it. The only one who truly has the ability to create balance in your life is you.

Most people love to work hard; they crave to give their all to their job. This positive and productive characteristic can quickly turn negative however when it starts to consume you. How is one supposed to find the off button in today’s connected world? Whether it’s a buzz on your Apple Watch or the staccato vibration of your cell phone, we are rarely alone…

When this horrific pandemic first hit, I am sure some secretly felt relief as they physically pried themselves away from the office and started working from their home. However, I am not the least bit surprised that we now find ourselves increasingly inundated with work messages and interruptions. The pressure to be available and always-on is strong when working from home. No longer can our efficiency be gauged by our steadfast presence within the walls of our office. The only touchpoint to gauge our productivity is that sudden call or pressing email that required a response 30 seconds ago. What pressure and anxiety! 

So what is the solution? How are we supposed to effectively implement those healthy boundaries? I was once told that some of our best ideas come in the shower. With distractions removed, our subconscious thoughts can finally make their way into our conscious minds. Unable to check our phone and email, we can finally hear the quiet voices in the back of our heads. Reflecting on our jobs, reflecting on our daily interactions, and reflecting on our relationships. What made us smile, what brightened our day, what gave us purpose and meaning? Only then can we get a true understanding and maximize the things that mean the most. The things on the right side of that ratio—life.  

The sad reality is that showering may be the only time you are truly alone. Alone in your physical location, alone in your actions, and most importantly alone in your thoughts. Away from people and notifications, your mind can truly run free. Fortunately, you do not need to hop in the shower every time you want more of that work-life balance, but this solution is 100% replicable. This is done by removing yourself from notifications. Put away your phone, take off your watch, and step away from your computer. Whether it’s for 10 minutes in the middle of the day or a period at night when your life and the people around you deserve 100% of your time and attention.

If you are a leader and reading this, please allow your team to find those strategic pauses in their calendar. If it is after working hours, consider holding off on that email, text, or phone call until the morning. Helping your team disconnect starts with you.