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The Boomer Bulletin - 2014
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Balancing Work and Life as a Young Professional

Posted By Deanna Perkins, Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Updated: Friday, April 18, 2014

Photo of Deanna PerkinsI know that many of us are struggling daily to find a good balance in our lives, everything from working to family time to time for ourselves. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t come easy and there is no magical formula that will work for everyone. I’m also here to tell you that something you find works now, might not work a month from now. The goal is to find what works in the moment and don’t be afraid to adjust it. I know change can be scary for some, but learning to see when adjustment is needed and following that can be very liberating.

I’m a 28-year-old wife and mother to an 18-month-old little girl. I’ve been working for Boomer Consulting for a year now and I’m continually growing in my position as a Business Development Specialist with the company. Besides working for Boomer Consulting and taking care of my family, I really enjoy reading and working out. Ok, I’ll be honest, I don’t ENJOY working out, but it is a necessity in my life. So when I’m looking at a 24 hour day, it’s hard to figure out how to fit everything in and still find time to sleep. Through some trial and error on my part, and some great advice, I’d like to share with you some tips that I’ve come to rely on.

  • Utilize Your In-Office Time
    When you are at work try to be there mentally 90% of the time. It’s almost impossible to be focused 100% of the time, but the more focused you are at the office the more you will get done. The more you get done, the less you stress about work when you’re not working. By utilizing your time at work effectively, the more time you free up to focus on other areas of your life.
  • Take Advantage of Your Lunch Break
    Lunch is your break to recharge in the middle of the day, to stop thinking about work and focus on something else. Use it to your advantage! Pick up a book you’ve wanted to read, call a friend or family member you’ve been meaning to catch up with, sneak in a quick workout, just something that is not work related. Again, this is to help you recharge so make sure it’s something you enjoy doing.
  • Set Time Aside for You
    Focusing on yourself might make you feel selfish, but in the long run it’s something everyone needs. Taking time away from everything, and focusing on something that is all for you, actually creates a healthier mind-set. Whether you decide to set time aside daily, weekly or monthly to focus on you, you have got to find the time. My goal for the first quarter was to set aside two hours every week to have time to myself, this didn’t happen at all, so instead I decided that I’d take a ½ free day whenever I could afford it. I went ahead and set the time up on my calendar and my only goal for those 4 hours is to focus on something that I really enjoy. I’m not going to clean around the house or do things that I don’t truly enjoy, to be honest I’ll be spending that time at our local Starbucks reading.
  • Notice When Adjustment is Needed
    You might come up with the perfect plan to balance everything and then once you put it into place you realize that it’s just not working. When you realize that it’s not working, don’t stress trying to make it work. Instead, focus on adjusting that to something that does work. When you’re trying to find balance between work and life, you need to find a balance that flows. It does take a lot of trial and error, but once you figure things out your life will run a lot smoother. Always remember, when you find that balance enjoy it in that moment, but always be aware when things start becoming a little rocky and see where the adjustment is needed.
  • Enjoy Your Family Time
    I cannot stress this enough to all of you. When you are with your family, be with your family. Enjoy sitting down to dinner and hearing about everyone’s days. Enjoy playing with your kids and learning more and more about them every day. It’s so easy for us to be distracted during these times, to pick up our computer and try to get work done, to get on your smart phone and cruise the internet. What I want you to do is take a step back, try to imagine what you’re missing when you are using your family time for work or using it to try to squeeze in time for yourself. You’re missing your children growing up, you’re missing the opportunity to grow closer to your spouse and show them that they are more important to you then your job in that moment.

    Now if you don’t have a spouse or kids, what else are you missing out on in your life when you use time away from work to work? You’re missing the opportunity to hang out with your friends and socialize. You’re missing that time away from the office to decompress and recharge for the next day to come. The other advantage you have when you don’t have kids or a spouse involved is all that free time you have to focus on things you enjoy doing! Definitely take that to your advantage!

After giving you these tips I want to share my magical formula that I’ve created for myself in this moment.

  • I wake up early to fit in a good workout and get ready before I have to wake my daughter up and get her ready for school.
  • Then I go to work and I really focus for those first 4 hours of the day.
  • For lunch I take time to either catch up with a friend through a phone date or I read a book.
  • I return to work feeling recharged, since I’ve given my mind time to relax, and focus for the last part of the day.
  • At night it’s all devoted to my husband and my daughter. We make dinner, catch up on our days and play with our daughter.
  • Once she’s down for the night we’ll finish up our night by watching some shows or working on some individual things we enjoy.
  • Then we go to bed and prepare to do it all over again.
I am constantly aware of my formula now and making sure that it’s still working. I know that it can change at any moment, but it’s nice to have a routine now that works for me. A routine that helps me fit in all the things that are important in my life! I hope that these tips will help you discover your magical formula and remind you to keep things in perspective in all areas of your life.

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