Often times, 24 hours never appears to be an adequate amount of time in a day. Our jobs seem to somehow stretch much further than our scheduled punch out times. Is it possible to find a balance between work and our personal lives? Are we completely held captive to our careers even after we’ve left the threshold of our office buildings? Can we enjoy the simple things in life that are free to cherish without always stopping to check on work related duties when we are not there?  There’s no one rule to being successfully engaged with a business or how to truly live life with fullness. It is important to find an equilibrium to areas such as health, wealth, sanity, and social connections. We may not be able to release all of the pulls from our lives and work duties, but we can find a balance. Let’s weigh our options.

Sleep: This can be is our best friend. Children aren’t the only people who are extremely needy of the infamous eight hours of rest. A good night of sleep prepares us for the next day and serves as our head start at being great. We have to be sure that we are fueled with rest so that we can take on balancing options, tasks, and unexpected changes. Sleep allows us to be alert. Once we are cheated of our rest, stress begins to knock at our door. We have to be in good heath in order to give good energy while executing responsibilities. In the meantime, exit out of your e-mail and get some rest.

Saying no: It isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but sometimes it is the best attempt at remaining sane. Respectfully saying no when you have prior commitments and engagements is perfectly fine. We are not robots, and it is simply impossible to assume that any one person never needs or deserves a break. Saying no when you have enough things on your plate allows you to meet the needs of the things that you have already spoken for. Too much on one plate is never healthy.

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Navigating email: There is a time and organization method for this.  Besides the fact that our families and significant others would enjoy our full attention, all e-mails aren’t deserving of an immediate response. Taking the time to put away our phones, iPads, and laptops gives us more time to balance responsibilities outside of work. Having a set time to refrain from constant work will help us mentally differentiate when we are suppose to be working and when we are actually fully living our lives. Designating certain times to check e-mails may be helpful when creating the boundaries of work and life. You can also organize your emails by levels of priority.

Building relationships at work: Sometimes this can be a little tricky, but there are a few benefits to networking within work. Not everyone will have the advantage of knowing majority of their team members or staff before taking on a job, so what do you do? Team building exercises have been a fun way to bond and get to know some of the people that you work with on a daily bases. Lunch pals are always good company, and often times these short thirty minute breaks are all that you’ll need to head back into work determined to finish out the day strong. Building relationships at work also opens the window to closely switch shifts with someone in case of an emergency if you’re unable to commit to your scheduled time. Last minute changes can be a bit stressful, so be sure to connect with someone on the inside so that when life gets unbalanced, work can provide as a small cushion. The support system is also a benefit too.

Creating time for yourself: Family and friends can be tremendously rewarding. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our work that we forget all about the things that brought us to our jobs, we forget our passions, we forget our hobbies, and we forget about our loved ones. Time is precious, so setting aside time for yourself is a necessary requirement to keeping your humor side functioning and your loving side lit. Perhaps yoga, wine tasting, pottery, meditating, game night, swimming, or reading is what brings you back to your center. Come up with a list of what bring you peace and block off time to reintroduce yourself to some of your first loves and new discoveries.  Create some you time, and stick with it.

-Jalisa Bannerman