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Hunting the Unicorn of Work-Life Balance

As professional demands compete with the legitimate need for relationships, activities and rest outside of working hours, work-life balance seems impossible.  You want to perform at your professional best, but you see how stress is limiting your productivity and putting a strain on your personal life.  How can you manage to excel in your professional life and enjoy a rich and rewarding life outside of work?  Here are 3 tips that can help you on your way.  work-life balance

Re-Examine Your Assumptions. You’ve been taught since you started school that the way to success is competition, constantly surpassing your own best efforts. This creates constant workplace tension, as teammates struggle to outdo each other for the approval of their employer. Step back and think about this. Do you really have to push yourself to the limit on every project? Can you and your team collaborate instead of competing, so that everyone wins? Are you letting your employer’s approval outweigh your well-being?

Make Commitments To Yourself. It’s too easy to let your own needs slide when work gets crazy. Learn to make and keep commitments to what matters most to you: relationships, exercise, sleep. Remind yourself that you can’t give your best at work unless you are taking care of yourself at home – then carve out time on your calendar and be faithful to it! It may feel scary to put your personal needs first, but as you see yourself relax at work, you’ll gain confidence.

Think Of Self-Care As A Gift To Your Employer. If you had a luxury car, you’d make sure it gets regular inspections, maintenance and upgrades, right? As one of your employer’s valuable assets, you owe yourself the same kind of care. Making work your only priority is as shortsighted as skipping an oil change because you’re too busy to take your Rolls Royce to the mechanic.

Work-life balance takes constant attention. It requires treating yourself with compassion and understanding. When you commit to it, however, you are doing both yourself and your employer a significant, long-lasting favor.