I find myself getting carried away and working late sometimes - How can I have better WLB?

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Mid-Level Software Engineer [SWE4] at Mercaria year ago

I'm trying to figure out how to have a better disconnect between work and outside of work. Sometimes I'll get carried away on a task and I'll work pretty late on it, which negatively affects my sleep schedule. It’s all been kind of blurred, I can’t even remember when I stopped working sometimes. I'm also working with people in different time zones, so I'll work later than the traditional 9 to 5.

Overall, it's not too bad though. I'm mostly not working weekends, and this is mainly a thing on me: I don't have external pressure/crazy deadlines to overwork.



  • Alex Chiou
    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    a year ago
    • Quickest tactic: Set a recurring daily alarm to tell yourself to stop working. From there, it's up to you to respect the alarm.
    • Having clean, healthy work/life boundaries is another thing that manifests as a habit. The hardest part is the beginning: Get into the groove of respecting that groove/time cut-off 5-10 times and actually stopping work, and from there, your brain will start automatically doing it.
    • A more extreme option is to insert hard commitments to stop yourself from working. For example, you want to stop working at 7PM, so you set up dinner with a friend around that time.
    • Make sure that the technology is cleanly split as well. Don't look at your work laptop after working hours. Mute work notifications. Pretend your work devices don't exist after working hours (unless you are oncall).

    Related resources:

  • Seed Zeng
    Staff Software Engineer @ DoorDash, ex-FB, ex-Klaviyo
    8 months ago

    In my experience, what works best for me is to block off times on work my calendar dedicated for

    • workout
    • cooking
    • winding down It acts both as a reminder to myself and also a note to co-workers.

    I also encourage you to take a step back what is the problem you are trying to solve here. WLB is a tricky word because it's you that need to find the balance. 9 - 5 is not necessarily what you should aim for based on your circumstance.

    Sounds like you are in a flow state working on something you are passionate about. That's a good thing. If it's impacting your sleep because of you cannot turn off your mind soon enough, work on that.