The Coveted B Word

I’m at it again with Victoria and Meg over at The B Bar and this time around, we’re discussing that coveted b word: balance.


Figuring out how to maintain a work/life balance isn’t easy. However, it is an absolute necessity – both for your sanity and for the sanity of those around you.

how to style a desk | @jessicazimlich

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Jess, last time I checked you didn’t have a full-time job.” If you’re new around here or need to play catch up, take a peek at this post. It’s true, I’ve spent the past two months poring over what to do next and how I see my life taking shape and to be honest, I’m still not there yet.

But rest assured, I’ve been working pretty consistently since I was 15 years old. Fourteen, if you count the one day gig I held at family friend’s Chinese restaurant (until I realized that I couldn’t pronounce anything on the menu and manning the phone lines sent me into full on panic mode).

Let’s rewind two months, back when I really had my shit together. I had a job, posted to this blog consistently, kept a solid workout regimen and maintained relationships with relative ease – #humblebrag. It wasn’t until I lost my job that chaos ensued and my steadfast routine went out the window.

Get my two cents on how to keep it together when it comes to work and life below.

rifle paper phone case

  • Don’t skip the sweat sessions. Even though you may feel overwhelmed by your mile-long to-do list and can’t possibly fathom adding one more thing to the mix, your mind and body will thank you. I can attest that I sleep better, think better and am generally a more pleasant person when I’m staying active. Clear focus = productivity, but you knew that already.
  • Just say no. My work never, ever came home with me. I realize this might not be realistic for some industries, but that doesn’t mean you can’t set boundaries. Make it known when you will be available outside of office hours and set expectations for others you may be working with.
  • Find something you truly enjoy doing and make it your work. Work will feel less like work if you’re doing something that fills you with passion. If you catch yourself checking emails after dinner and it doesn’t turn your mood upside down, you’ve more than likely found the golden ticket.


Be sure to peruse the other posts in the link up for additional insight!
The B Bar // Rae Loves // Sarah Hartley // Carrie Loves // Soak and Simmer // The Not Quite Adult // White Cabana // PreppyPanache // LiskaMonet // Alyssa J Freitas // Rossetto // With Love From Ellie // Cake & Lilies // Feathers and Stripes // Leigh Clair // White Oak Creative // Life Modifier // Perfect Enough for Us // Random Little Faves // Jacque Of All Trades // Business Betties // Girl for Granted // Alicia Tenise // The Yuppie Flies // It’s Droolworthy // Something Good Blog // Elana Lyn // Forth Chicago // Emilie Lima Burke // Manifest Yourself // Fit for a Bride Blog // A Little Leopard // Coral and Cognacs // Little Wild Heart // It’s Julien // Boys and Bombshell // Meg Biram //Victoria McGinley

Bottom photo by Sarah Sweeney Co.


Join The Discussion

  1. Biana Perez

    This is great – I think maintaining a gym schedule is the first to go when you become busy, but you have to schedule that time and keep that appointment with yourself for your own sanity! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  2. Vicky

    Great tips! I need to be better at making time for working out…when I get into a routine/habit, I don’t even think twice, but once I get out of the habit, I let my long to-do list get in the way and that’s not good. I’m like you…unless I absolutely have to, I do not work outside of work hours (I do have direct report in Tokyo, so sometimes I have to have meetings with her in the evening, but I leave work earlier so balance it out). Great tips!

    1. Jess Zimlich

      I’m glad you found them helpful, Vicky! I agree, once the habit falls out of sync, it’s hard to get back into the swing of things…but it’s SO worth it 🙂

  3. Cara McDonald

    I used to have a horrible work-life balance, and it’s a hard habit to break. It’s challenging to set boundaries once you’ve already removed them, but it’s worth it. I stopped taking my computer home each night and started saying no to things. “I have time to either do this or this, but not both. Which is more critical?” I also began blocking off my calendar at work to complete the tasks I needed to and stopped eating lunch at my desk each day. These changes occurred over time but the fear I had about not being a good employee was unfounded. My team instead has grown to fill the real need and I’ve been promoted.

    If we don’t like something, we can change it (usually).

    1. Jess Zimlich

      I agree, which is why I’m working on setting boundaries from the get-go so people don’t get any ideas 😉 You got a promotion?! That’s awesome – congrats! Now that I’m back at home, I need to step away from the computer for lunch. I took your advice on this when I was still working in an office setting, but I’ve gotten back into the bad habit.

  4. Michelle Crenshaw

    This is incredibly timely, as I have some things going on and feel like I am overwhelmed both at work and home. My balance is very off at the moment, and I am trying desperately to figure out how to fix that. Not sure what the fix will be yet, but I am working on trying to figure that out. 🙂

  5. Rachel

    Totally agree with don’t skip the sweat sessions! I’ve learnt that I can’t live without them, at least not happily. I would add don’t let yourself get so busy you don’t have down time. There is something about having a few moments or hours to just do nothing. Allow your mind a rest, and always take time for prayer!

  6. Natalie

    Love your tips, Jess – and I completely, 100% relate to everything you said. Isn’t it funny how you feel busier without a full-time job? I really do think it’s because for the first time in our lives (pretty much), we don’t have shit figured out. We don’t have a set schedule or that 8-5 to go to (at least for right now). But I am more than 100% on board with work/life balance. Most of the time I didn’t bring work home. I also feel that people should stop feeling guilty for taking vacation days! Everyone needs a break!


  7. Lindsay Humes

    These tips are spot on! Especially the workout. It is always the first thing that I cancel in my day if I’m too busy, and I always regret it. Can’t wait for our mastermind call!

  8. Silex in the City

    Love this post and your tips. Balance is a doosy. I have recently found that I was checking work e-mails too often from my mobile and often they would dampen my mood during off hours. So, I turned them off on my cell and am being better about unplugging from work at home. It’s kept me more “on” at work, I’d say.

  9. Kara Krittenbrink

    I feel like finding the work/life balance is a constant struggle!! For me, spending a few hours a week with all electronics turned off helps me to center music and really focus on what is important!


  10. Sara

    I agree 100% on not skipping the sweat sessions! Nothing stresses me out more than not making it to the gym, but it’s also been the hardest thing to work into my routine! Definitely worth fighting for, though!

  11. LaPetiteFashionista

    I’ve been going to CYC classes lately and it’s made such a difference. I have so much more energy during the day 🙂

  12. Rachel

    Love these tips! Keeping my regular schedule, especially with working out and keeping work from coming home is so true! Still working on the making your passion your work…although it is what I desire, it is taking me a while to figure out how to do it!

  13. Katie

    Oh girl! It’s so hard to strike a balance no matter what is going on in your life. My word for 2015 is blend. I haven’t been doing a good job thinking about it, but I strive to have a good work/life blend more than anything.

    I have been participating in yoga classes at lunch twice a week and that’s been awesome. I can feel myself getting stronger and more flexible. Now I just need to get more cardio in!

  14. Cassandra Monroe

    hmm sounds like I need to get MY shit together, I totally missed this linkup!! Anyways, love your point about not skipping sweat sessions. Even if the rest of your day is kind of off or busy, your one hour workouts are always there and can always keep your routine grounded.

  15. Jessika Garcia

    Jess I look up to you for doing all of those things with your full-time job. This is my second week in and I NEED a better planner/organization system at work (I’m an old school agenda gal – sorry Outlook). But, I have noticed that I get off earlier and I have time to relax, which is a leisure I didn’t have with two jobs. Always wishing you the best! xo

    1. Jess Zimlich

      Congrats on your new job! Back when I was in an office setting, I utilized Outlook strictly for any work related tasks and then used my planner for personal/blog work. This especially helped me so that I wasn’t bringing work home with me. You got this!

  16. Jenna

    Loved these 3 tips! Especially maintaing the sweat session – I always feel like I’m a completely different (& better) person when I get time to decompress!

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