Six Steps to Maintaining Balance

one sneaker and one dress shoe Associations Now January/February 2017 Issue By: Cheryl Palmer

Work-life balance can be hard to achieve, but here are practical tips to help ensure your job is not taking over your life.

Extremes are almost never good, which means you don’t want your job to take over your life or your life to take over your job. Here are six practical tips for achieving that hard-to-find work-life balance:

Set appropriate boundaries and look for a position that will allow you to live within them. It is also a good idea to periodically reassess your work-life balance to see if you are where you want to be.

Look for companies that have a reputation for helping their employees achieve work-life balance. Websites like Forbes and Glassdoor offer lists of employers that work to meet these goals.

Associate with other people who are trying to live balanced lives. These people can give you tips on what they do to stay balanced, and they can normalize this way of living and working. When you only associate with other people whose lives are unbalanced, going at a frenetic pace and burning yourself out seem normal.

Put your energy into what is most important. It is easy to get distracted by petty things. Keep your eye on the ball and get the most important things done first.

Say no to activities that will violate your boundaries. For example, while it might be flattering to be invited to serve as a committee chair at your professional association, if you really don’t have the time to juggle this new commitment, decline.

Guard your private time well. Many things will crop up to intrude on private time you set aside for yourself and your family. If you are serious about work-life balance, you need to honor that private time. Don’t consistently let other demands take precedence.

[This article was originally published in the Associations Now print edition, titled "Career Coach: Life in Balance."]

Cheryl Palmer

Cheryl Palmer, M.Ed., CPRW, is founder and career coach at Call to Career.