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  • Establishing a Work-Life Balance

  • Amber Kain
    Chief Scribe

    As the winner of the “Night Owl Award” in our Department’s First Annual Awards Night, I consider my day done when I have completed everything I needed to do on my task list, which often leads to some later nights at the office. While I find satisfaction in knowing my job is done, I know that there are certain things I need to do to establish a work-life balance. Here are a 6 tips adapted from an article on Forbes that might help you to establish this too.

    1. Let go of perfectionism
    Overachieving starts from a young age. We’re pushed into this habit by our parents and teachers as we develop. As we grow older, it becomes harder and harder to achieve perfection.
    The key to avoid burning out is to let go of that. It may be healthier to strive for excellence/quality over perfection.

    2. Unplug
    We all know that it is near impossible to disconnect from our phones and computers, especially when managing a region from a hiring perspective. Technology has made things easier, but it also makes us appear like we’re constantly accessible (even to that candidate who calls you at 3am asking about their application). Take time to unplug. Don’t text during dinner and don’t send work emails while you’re hanging out with friends and family. <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Make quality time true quality time</span>. You will find yourself more in control and less prone to stress.

    3. Exercise and meditate
    Exercise is an effective stress reducer. It pumps feel-good endorphins through your body. It helps lift your mood and can even serve a one-two punch by also putting you in a meditative state, according to the Mayo Clinic. Dedicate some time each week to keep yourself active, whether it’s a quick walk every day, some yoga, or a serious cardio workout.

    Psychotherapist Bryan Robinson, who is also professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and author of the book Chained to the Desk, explains that our autonomic nervous system includes two branches: the sympathetic nervous system (our body’s stress response) and the parasympathetic nervous system (our body’s rest and digest response). “The key is to find something that you can build into your life that will activate your parasympathetic nervous system,” says Robinson. Short, meditative exercises like deep breathing or grounding your senses in your present surroundings, are great places to start. The more you do these, the more you activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which “calms everything down, (and) not just in the moment,” says Robinson. “Over time you start to notice that in your life, your parasympathetic nervous system will start to trump your sympathetic nervous system.”

    4. Limit time-wasting activities and people
    Identify what is important in your life and who or what is limiting you from that. Doing so will allow you to drastically reassess your goals and prioritize. I can get glued to Facebook for hours at a time. What did I do? I uninstalled it from my phone. I have sooo much more time now.

    5. Change the structure of your life
    Sometimes we fall into a rut and assume our habits are set in stone. Take a bird’s-eye view of your life and ask yourself: What changes could make life easier?
    Instead of trying to do it all, focus on activities you specialize in and value most. Delegate or outsource everything else. Is there a task that you can share or hand off to a colleague that would take the stress off of you and allow them to grow? This will give them a chance to learn something new and free you up so you may devote attention to your higher priorities.

    6. Start small. Build from there.
    We all have goals, but trying to accomplish them all at once is not the key to success. Start with one or two small things and move from there. Reassess your goals on a regular basis, like every 6 months or a year to see if you are still working towards them, or if perhaps your goals have changed.

    <p style=”text-align: left;”>What do you do to separate your work day from your personal life? Have you been successful?</p>

    Ana Santiesteban


    What a great reminder to have work-life balance!  Although we always want to do our best and get it all done.  We must make sure to personally and mentally take care of ourselves as it can seep into our professional lives.  I think the first tip is a great reminder for Type A personality (raises my own hand).  Sometimes you have to take a step back and not look at the complexity but how you can break down projects into achievable tasks.  It’s not about perfection but progression.  The unplug tip is a great reminders as well as you can not ALWAYS be accessible.  My mother is a realtor and encourage her to have “working hours” such as 9:00am-9:00pm.  To allow her a time to stop her day and decompress from the day.

    One more tip I would like to add from Operation Peacock Operation Peacock is before each day to take about thirty minutes to plan your day.  Make sure to leave time for interruptions and “fires” that came up as we all know the day never goes quite as planned.


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