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ALPHA GAM ALWAYS: WORK LIFE BALANCE IS A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT

The following post was written by guest blogger Jen Przydzial Sears, Zeta Delta–Towson University.

We are daughters, mothers, sisters, aunts, wives, girlfriends, life partners, coworkers, volunteers and much, much more. We are constantly pulled in a million directions and sometimes, if not most times, we feel as though we must give 100 percent—sometimes even more—to everything. How can we have balance—in particular, work life balance?

I wish I could tell you I have figured it out and that I have achieved work life balance. But, most times, I feel as though I don’t. I am struggling just like you.

A few months ago, I got a new boss. One of her leadership principles is “to be here, now.” She not only wants her employees to be here now while at work, but also when they are not. She values her family and encourages everyone to be in the moment with family or whatever situation they are in. The principle is easier said than done, but I am trying. I consciously try to carve out time for specific tasks, activities and relationships. I try to be engaged 100 percent, not letting my mind wander to something else I feel I should be doing. I just try “to be here, now.”

Here are some other tips that may help you find work life balance:

  • Each day, take time for yourself. Enjoy a quiet cup of coffee before anyone else in the house wakes up. Exercise or mediate for 30 minutes. Read a chapter or two of a book before you go to bed. Find something you like and enjoy it by yourself.
  • Unplug. Easier said than done, I know! But try it. Even if it is only for 30 minutes before you go to bed. Put your phone down—don’t check work email, don’t surf the web—just enjoy the moment you are in.
  • Take days off. I mean real time off, not pretend time off. Find someone who can cover for you at work if something must be handled the day you are off. When you are sick, take a sick day and don’t feel guilty about it.
  • Set boundaries and stick with them. If you only achieved 10 out of the 12 things you had on your to-do list at work, know when to say enough is enough and go home. When you are home, enjoy it—whether it is with others or by yourself.
  • Get enough sleep. I know it is hard, but try. We all know how many hours of sleep we need to be fully productive. Make sure you get at least that many hours on a regular basis.
  • Be friends with others who seek work life balance. Things are always easier when you a have a partner or buddy who has the same goals in mind. They can help hold you accountable.

Above all, stop thinking you can be perfect. No one is perfect. We can’t give 100 percent all the time to everything in our lives. I, too, will take my own advice, as I continue to seek work life balance.

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