I love this recent HBR post for workaholics, Happy Workaholics Need Boundaries Not Balance. I think the culture of academia can increase the workaholic tendencies that many of us have. At University of Venus, many of us have accepted that the vision of work/life balance is a fallacy and I know I am trying for work/life integration.
I find that setting boundaries works best for me because it consists of creating a set of rules and putting them into place. When I create boundaries, I don't have to spend time (and mental head space) focusing on achieving balance - I just follow my rules.
I know I am terrible at setting aside time to work out. I create plans - from simple to complex - and then the minute I get sick or something unexpected comes up (daily), the plans fall apart. This year, I got a fitbit and decided that I was just going to walk as much as possible. I did this by creating rules- I walk to the subway instead of taking the bus; I take the stairs instead of the escalator; when I'm at a bus/subway station, I pace instead of sitting down; instead of holding meetings in my office (on North Campus), I try to hold them on Central or South Campus. Once these habits/rules are in place, I don't think about them and this has worked - I average 8-9 miles a day during the week.
ps- It also helps that I'm competitive with these types of things. I gave my partner a fitbit for Valentine's Day.
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Anthropology Open Rank (Assistant, Associate, or Professor) of Anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts