MotivationWork-Life Balance

As someone with ties to both Canada and the United States the July 1st – July 4th date range which marks the independence of both North American nations is an awesome time for me. Awesome because I have double the reason to celebrate: double the treats, double the barbecues (I always do something for Canada day on July 1st, even if I am alone), and of course the fireworks….which can be endless thanks to Facebook live.

Although we celebrate the independence of our respective nations, I started to think: at what point will you declare your work-life independence?

In the case of many work environments work-life is under attack and many of us keep enduring unnecessarily. I know I have been there a time or two and the best advice I ever received when I was in a toxic work-life situation was:

“When will you draw the line in the sand, tell others about it, and do something if that line has been crossed?”

That line is something different for all of us as is how we navigate our needs. For example, both Canada and the U.S. were unhappy with British rule. One country had a revolution, the other had several conversations over beer and liquor until independence was granted.   Different needs, different methods, but the goals were achieved nonetheless.

This week I want you to think about what the work-life issues are for you, talk to the right people about them, and have a strategy for what you will do if those boundaries are crossed.  It can be simple. Examples can be as simple as asking for a more flexible work schedule, (re)defining expectations around email and electronic correspondence, or getting approval for time off. For others it may be a more serious discussion about workplace climate or bullying that is occurring. In some cases drawing that border may include an exit strategy if things don’t change for the better.

Work-life balance is a battle. If we don’t fight for our cause then nobody will. So declare you independence this year. Fight and advocate for what will improve your situations AND benefit the company. Define your borders. Declare them. Defend them. The decision is yours.


Dr. Paul Artale is a work-life and leadership expert dedicated to helping people and organizations overcome obstacles that hinder their success. More about Paul can be found at

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