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Work and Life: The Great Balancing Act

By Jamie Leboe

In today’s society, more families than ever before are made up of all adults in a household working full-time outside of the home. Therefore, it is so important to have a good work-life balance. We have to balance family, leisure activities, house chores, and so much more.  It is hard to fit in time for everything that we need to do and that we want to do. While it is important to get a great deal of fulfillment from our jobs, it is also important to have a fulfilling life outside of work. Carving out time for family and fun can make us more productive in our jobs and keep us healthier.

I have found that there are some things that can help keep that balance intact.

  • Remember that location matters.  It’s helpful to find activities that are close to home or work so that, geographically speaking, they don’t add to your stress.   Say you enjoy yoga, find a studio on your way home from work and sign up for a class that starts shortly after your work day is over.
  • Use a calendar. Be sure to write everything down, or if you’re tech savvy, type it into your phone or computer.  Combine your work and family calendars so that you can quickly and easily see what’s on your plate each day. Then make a point of leaving your job on time so you can arrive at your planned destination.  Easier said than done, I know.  For me planning ahead for the week really makes life easier.
  • Decide what’s important, then make it a priority.  Being able to actively participate in my children’s activities both in and out of school is extremely important to me, so I make sure to fit that in as often as I can.
  • Be realistic. Accept that you’re not going to be able to do everything.  I have started to realize that I may not make it to every single activity, but I get to as many as possible.  Coordinating the calendar is key!
  • Determine if your work schedule is flexible. Ask if your job offers the option of flexing your schedule so that if you take time off during the work day, you can make it up another time.   I have been able to arrange my schedule so that I drop my kids off at school and then go to work.
  • Enlist friends or family to help. Consider carpooling or other available options.  I pick my kids up two or three days a week and I am lucky enough to live within minutes of my parents, who are my greatest support. They pick my kids up the rest of the time.  My husband works a variety of hours, but he and I touch base every afternoon so he can share the driving when he is home.

Sound complicated? It certainly can be.  But by thinking ahead and planning properly, you can achieve balance in your life.  I’m not saying that it’s always easy, and, of course, it’s constantly evolving, but by being creative and using your best problem solving skills, it is doable.

Jamie Leboe is a Career Coach/Vocation Evaluator for the Ignite Career Center.

Whether you are new to the job market or a seasoned professional, the Ignite Career Center, a program of Jewish Community Services, can help you go farther and get there faster.  Our highly experienced Career Coaches provide individuals of all backgrounds and abilities with the customized services and tools they need to stand out from the competition.  For information, call 410-466-9200 or visit ignitecareercenter.com

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