work life balance

As a corporate event planner for a higher education institution September can be an extremely hectic month. The institution is buzzing with new and returning students, speakers, visitors and delegations. During this time events occur weekly with rarely a gap for leisurely planning. If you are like me then you also have family commitments, business engagements and even professional development activities on your schedule. To say this can be a stressful time would be an understatement. So how can you achieve work-life balance?

1. Put Perfectionism out the Door

As event planners we tend to develop perfectionist behavior traits – it comes with the territory. When you first get started in your profession or business it might have been easier, however as your business and career grows so will your responsibilities and holding on to perfectionism becomes more and more impossible. If left unchecked perfectionism can become a major hindrance.

“What if you can’t keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn’t everyone else working harder and living up to your expectations?”, these are all possible questions you will need to look at says Brené Brown, author of The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.

2. Unplug!

There is no doubt that technology has helped to make our lives easier in many ways, but it has also created the expectation of constant accessibility. There now seems to no longer be an end to the work day. As event planners we are connected while in the office, at an event, and even post-event to ensure that we are aware of and able to control all associated “fires’. This can however become a problem, there are times when you just need to shut off your phone, laptop and/or tablet and enjoy the moment.

3. Exercise 

Lets be honest, achieving work-life balance can be a challenge. It is easy to say the things we should do and often not quite as easy to put them into action. I personally find that during stressful periods in my work and business exercise is crucial for relaxing my mind and body. That being said finding the time to schedule that exercise can present a new set of challenges. The key to doing this is not making it optional. Similarly to scheduling your hair appointments, make scheduling exercise a part of your routine. Dedicate a set amount of time each week to exercising, and schedule other items around it like you would that hair appointment.

4. Reevaluate the structure of your life

To achieve work-life balance you will also need to evaluate the current structures in your life to ensure that are working efficiently. As humans it is easy for us to get stuck in routines and assume that there are no options for change.

Work-life balance: What changes can I make to improve my life today?

Does your spouse work from home but you are responsible for the cooking? Maybe it would be easier if that person prepared the family meals to save you time after commuting from work after a long day. Instead of attempting to do everything yourself, try focusing on activities that you are more efficient in and able to accomplish easily. Learn to delegate!

Stewart Freidman, a management professor and author of Leading the Life You Want: Skills for Integrating Work and Life says “Find out what you can do to let go in ways that benefit other people by giving them opportunities to grow”.

5. A little relaxation goes a long way

You may not need to make major changes to achieve more work-life balance. Start small if needed, set realistic goals for example not checking emails after 5 pm then slowly build other goals into your life that are important to you. Finish reading a book each month, take more short walks away from your computer etc. Make time for the moments that will bring you pleasure.

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