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Career Corner: Creating balance in your life

On Thursday we discussed what your life is like when it is out of balance – here are some tips for creating balance in your life:

Step One: Make a list of the different areas of your life where you’re not spending as much time and energy as you’d like. For example, if you’ve lost touch with friends and family or aren’t connecting with them as frequently as you want to, put that down. Come up with at least 3 areas that need work in terms of your time and attention.

  1. In each of these 3 areas, identify one action step you can take in the next week to improve upon that area. Will you make a commitment to call one friend in the next week, or spend time with at least one family member? Make the action step simple, realistic and give yourself a deadline. Taking one step in each of these areas will create greater balance in your life. Continue to do this every week until you develop a habit of attending to the areas of your life that are important to you.

Step Two: Learn to Balance Work and Personal Time. If work is one of those areas that’s taking over your life, try some of these techniques to better manage your work time and attention.

  1. Turn off your blackberry, phone and/or email when you need focused time to work on a project.
  2. Set your email to only check emails when you press send/receive, not every time an email comes through. Having the email buzz at you whenever you receive a new message is incredibly distracting.
  3. Turn off your voicemail or email chime on your phone. Make a commitment to only check your voicemail and email twice a day at certain times.
  4. Prioritize your tasks on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Consciously choose where you focus your time and energy.
  5. Plan ahead. When you know a big project is coming up plan for how you need to spend your time and delegate other tasks as necessary. Don’t wait for crunch time to re-arrange your priorities.
  6. Set boundaries.
  • Decide how late you are willing to stay at work each night – 6:00, 7:00 pm? And how frequently this will happen.
  • Before you dive into a task, determine how much time you can and will spend on that task. Set a goal for yourself, you’ll be more likely to achieve it.

Your action steps don’t have to be complicated; they simply require time for self-reflection and a true commitment to implement. When you create greater balance in your life you will experience: greater fulfillment, effectiveness, and productivity. You will be less stressed and won’t get sick as often. And most importantly you’ll be leading the life you want to lead!

Here's to having a career you love,
Hallie Crawford
Work/Life Balance