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Work/Life Balance
November 25, 2010
Written By: Michelle Clark, Ph.D.

The holiday season is beginning. Although our mental picture is one of relaxed connecting with family, the reality is often a feeling of exhaustion and over work. Here are some tips you might use in your approach to work/life balance. 

Reduce extracurricular commitments
To attain work/life balance, people can first reduce the number of extracurricular activities in which they or their children participate. Overbooked schedules lead to chaotic, frantic lifestyles. Each time you're asked to volunteer or join a committee, think about how doing so will affect your family or social life, or both. 

Turn off the technology
Try to leave your work at the office so you are both mentally and physically present when you're with your family and friends. It's important to unwind and relax after work by setting aside a time to turn off all cell phones and enjoy as many television-free dinners as possible. 

Realize having it all at once is probably unrealistic
It is crucial to accept the idea you can't have it all at once. If you try, you will have a lifestyle full of stress and exhaustion. People can have it all—personal gratification, financial success and an enjoyable social life, for example—but not all at once. You have to prioritize your needs and devote time to each goal accordingly. 

Minimize materialism
To stop the vicious cycle of overworking and over consuming, minimize materialism. When you want more, you worry about payments, work overtime and live more chaotic, stressful lives. By desiring and acquiring less, people tend to be more satisfied and grateful for what they have. Make a list of the things in life for which you're grateful and the aspects of your life that are going well. It's natural for people to ignore what they have and focus instead on what they are missing out on. Practicing appreciation of what you do have will help your work/life balance. 

The process of achieving work-life balance can take months, but by making gradual changes, you'll greatly reduce the amount of stress and exhaustion in your social lives and family.


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