By: Michael Mayszak, Executive Recruiter

Work-Life Balance: The key to staying Sharp

With the fast-paced world we live in, striking that perfect balance between career and family has always been a challenge. Our schedules are getting busier than ever before, which often causes our work or our personal lives to suffer. When professionals feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationships with management and can leave work issues at work and home issues at home.

Steps to take at the office:

  • Set manageable goals: Being able to meet priorities helps us feel a sense of accomplishment and control. Be realistic about workloads and deadlines. Make a “to-do” list and take care of important tasks first and eliminate unessential ones
  • Be efficient with your time: Start by dividing it into smaller tasks. Complete the first one before moving on to the next. If you feel overwhelmed by routines that seem unnecessary, tell your boss. The less time you spend doing busy work or procrastinating, the more time you can spend productively.
  • Ask for flexibility: Flex time and telecommuting are quickly becoming established as necessities in today’s business world, and many companies are drafting work/life policies. If you ask, they might allow you to work flexible hours or from home one day a week. Employees who work flexible schedules are more productive and loyal to their employers.
  • Take five: Small breaks at work will help clear your head and improve your ability to deal with stress and make good decisions when you jump back into the grind.
  • Communication: Be honest with colleagues or your boss when you feel you’re in a bind. In a tense situation, either rethink your strategy or stand your ground, calmly and rationally. Retreat before you lose control and allow time for all involved to cool off.

Steps to take at home:

  • Unplug and Unwind: By all means, make yourself available especially if you’ve earned the right to “flex” your hours, but recognize the need for personal time too.
  • Divide home responsibilities: Make sure responsibilities at home are evenly distributed and clearly outlined. You’ll avoid confusion and problems later.
  • Don’t over commit Yourself: If you’re overscheduled with activities, learn to say  “no”.
  • Have a support Group: Chatting with friends and family can be important to your success at home—or at work and can even improve your health.
  • Stay active: Regular exercise reduces stress, depression, and anxiety and enables people to better cope with adversity. It’ll also boost your immune system and keep you out of the doctor’s office.
  • Your body is a temple: Being in good shape physically increases your tolerance to stress and reduces sick days. Eat right, exercise, and get adequate rest.
  • Get help: Don’t let stress stand in the way of your health and happiness. If you are persistently overwhelmed, it may be time to seek help from a mental health professional.

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