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Work-Life Balance

Below are the articles in the Work-Life Balance category. Each article title is followed by a brief summary introduction to the content. Click "Read Excerpt" for a more comprehensive review. Click "Add to Package" to buy or redeem the article.

Work-Life Balance

3 Simple Ways to Find Balance in Your Life

Anyone can feel overwhelmed and fatigued when endless demands tug at them from all directions. But balancing life doesn’t require massive changes. Here are three simple ways to begin building a greater sense of peace and harmony.

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When life seems out of control and you’ve got endless demands tugging at you from all directions, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, fatigued and just plain stressed!

Believe it or not, balancing your life doesn't require massive changes. You don’t have to quit your job, abandon your family and escape to a remote retreat in order to feel peaceful and happy. In fact, true balance is something that starts within you first no matter what else is happening in your life circumstances.

Below you’ll find three simple ways to begin building a greater sense of inner peace and harmony:

Quiet Time

One of the first things we tend to sacrifice when we’re busy is our personal time. Instead, we devote all of our energy and attention to caring for others, multi-tasking, meeting responsibilities and “being productive.” Over time, this depletes our energy and we begin to feel more and more burdened by our responsibilities.

Are You TOO Busy? How Can You Tell?

Many people complain about being too busy, but forget that they have a say in the matter. This quiz offers help and insight.

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These days, it seems as if the lament of not having enough time has become a national anthem. Everywhere people find themselves constantly in a rush, over-booked and over-scheduled with no time off. Life is accompanied by the ongoing stress of not enough time. And sometimes doing too much and being too busy can be a way of numbing feelings or disguising depression or anger.

Though it may not always seem so, how we fill our time and how we spend it is our choice. Answer the following questions to discover if you’re caught up in the “too-busy” cycle.

1. I constantly find myself doing “urgent” things and trying to catch up.

2. I allow myself to drift into obligations when I don’t know how much time or energy they’ll require.

3. I find myself running from when I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night. I’m always tired and never feel like I accomplished enough.

Best Way to Beat Burnout—Prevent It!

Burnout has more to do with attitudes, work styles, and behavior than with any specific job situation. Article explores warning signs and eight ways to avoid burnout.

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Burnout resists simple definition because it affects so many aspects of an individual’s life. In their book, Beyond Burnout, authors David Welch, Donald Medeiros and George Tate, describe burnout as a condition that affects us physically, intellectually, emotionally, socially and spiritually.

One of the first physical symptoms of burnout is fatigue. Intellectually, there may be a loss of creativity and sharpness in problem solving; cynicism may replace enthusiasm. Emotionally, the loss of dreams and expectations can result in feelings of helplessness and depression. In the social realm, isolation overtakes feeling of involvement, and spiritually, the person experiencing burnout may feel a lack of meaning or purposelessness to her life...

How can you avoid becoming one of the burnout statistics? First, recognize the warning signs:

• feelings of frustration and never being caught up

• a feeling of lack of control about how to do your job or what goes on in the workplace

• emotional outbursts

Do You Have Workaholic Habits?

There is a clear difference between enthusiastic, energetic work toward a highly valued goal and workaholism. That difference lies primarily in the emotional quality of the hours spent. This quiz will help a person see if he or she has a problem.

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Workaholism has a treadmill, joyless quality, not the bouncy, fun energy of a trampoline. And while working long, hard hours may help you accomplish a primary work goal, it likely will leave other areas of your life—family, friendship, intellectual stimulation, etc.—in shambles.

“Workaholism is an addiction,” Julia Cameron says in her book, The Artist’s Way, “and like all addictions, it blocks creative energy.” Take the following quiz, adapted from Cameron’s book, to help you figure out if you have workaholic habits. Even better, ask a few members of your family, or a few friends, to answer these questions for you. You may be surprised by what you discover.

1. I work beyond normal office hours.

2. I cancel dates with friends or family members to do more work.

3. I postpone outings until my deadline project is done.

4. I take work with me on vacations.

Finding the Balance of Competing Devotions

These days, the ultimate question may not be “What is the meaning of life?”, but rather, “Where do I find the time?”

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Between our work and personal lives (family, friends, exercise, sports, hobbies, community commitments), most of us have seriously overbooked ourselves. We strive so hard to “have it all”—fantastic work and other service that we’re passionate about, and passionate home lives that we work hard to nurture.

But with so many competing devotions, so many passions we must feed, we most often find ourselves just plain pooped. The stress can lead to health problems, poor sleep and fatigue, which means we get even less done (or take less pleasure in what we do accomplish). Ultimately, frustration mounts, our relationships suffer, and we wonder what went wrong.

To break out of the out-of-balance cycle and achieve better balance between our competing devotions, consider some of the following techniques, from the spiritual to the eminently practical.

Know Your Priorities

The near universal advice for creating life balance is to start with some process of getting in touch with your priorities, which reflect your values. What are you about? What is really important to you? Without some sense of these priorities as an anchor, it is almost impossibly difficult to battle the buffeting of daily life that fractures your time.

Go, Go, Go...on a Break. It's Important!

Three practices for taking a break from a hectic and over-scheduled life help you renew, recharge and refresh—and why it's critically important.

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In today's "go, go, go" society, we idealize the pink Energizer Bunny® that beats his drum non-stop. As the battery commercial says, "He keeps going and going and..."

And so do we.

We work long hours, days and weeks without a break. Some employees don't even take advantage of their entire vacation time. Then we pack our non-work hours with more activities.

But taking breaks—whether for a short walk or a long vacation—helps you avoid burnout, improve mental health and reduce the likelihood of stress-related illnesses that sometimes accompanies the "don't stop 'til you drop" attitude. Breaks encourage the discovery of fresh perspectives and new ideas. They are a delicious reward for hard work, a pause that reinvigorates.

If you feel overwhelmed, depleted or under-energized, chances are it's time for you to take a break. These three practices help you renew, recharge and refresh:

Get up and walk or stretch. If you spend most of your day at a computer or stuck in one place, get up and move around for a few minutes several times a day. Try to stretch. Experts continually caution that sedentary people are at increased risk of developing health issues, such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

How to Have it All

Having it all is about creating a healthy work/life balance. This article affers ways to bring that about.

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Ask someone if he or she wants to "have it all" and the likely response would be a resounding, "Yes."

But what does it really mean to "have it all"?

It could be argued that having it all means striking a healthy balance between work and life.

That's challenging during tough economic times when many people feel the need to put in more hours at work in order to retain their job or keep a business afloat. More hours spent working means there is less time available to spend on hobbies or leisure. This puts work/life out of balance.

Also, there was a time when the lines drawn between work-life and home-life were obvious. Among other factors, technologies that facilitate always being "on the clock" have blurred those boundaries and made it more challenging to keep a healthy work/life balance.

Maintaining Balance Is an Inside and Outside Job

Trying to maintain balance in life can make one feel like a tightrope walker, working without a net while the crowd below holds their breath in anticipation of a slip. Thankfully, there’s hope.

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These days almost all of us have so many demands placed on our time and energy, life can feel like a three-ring circus. And if you’re not up there on the tightrope, you’re down on the ground in the midst of tigers and lions, in charge of keeping a couple of dozen plates spinning in air.

Maintaining balance isn’t easy. It requires holding steady with the many responsibilities that are a normal and everyday part of life: home, family, friends and work, while at the same time recognizing and fulfilling personal needs and wants. Finding and maintaining balance when life can be so complicated and demanding is both an inside and outside job.

Inside—Only you can take care of yourself.

Consider how well you take care of yourself, both physically and emotionally. Do you eat healthfully and exercise regularly? Do you get check-ups and take preventative precautions? Do you set aside personal, quiet time for yourself? Do you make time to enjoy nature and art, filling yourself up again and again?

Overloaded? Try an Information Fast

Stop ingesting information for a week or so and restore balance.

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Just think of the sources of information we mainline every day: newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, books, blogs, websites, email, social media sites, podcasts, RSS feeds, discussion lists, reports, white papers, teleclasses, conferences, workshops, presentations. The list goes exhaustingly on.

We are stuffing our minds and, like the sugar hound, we think we like it. They’re interesting, all these things we learn, the world events we follow.

But what do we miss when there is almost no time that we are quiet with our own thoughts and self-generated activities? How much better could we focus on our tasks at hand, working faster and more productively, and how would that add to our lives? What might we discover that is more important than the mountain of information we take in every day?

Rest for Success

The need for rest sometimes gets pushed to the bottom of our to-do list—when rest is exactly what we need to perform at our peak.

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Are you overscheduled? Fixated on financial success? Fantasizing about lolling on an exotic island beach? You may be overdue for some rest.

The Value of Rest

Rest is essential for your physical and emotional well-being. It dissipates the pressures that build up in your mind and body and is vital to the immune system. Thus, rest is even more essential when you lead a high-stress life or are passing through stressful circumstances.

With a well-rested mind and body, you feel centered and balanced. Instead of having to “push the river,” as you do when you’re overextended, you are once more in the flow, creative and at ease. And more productive.

Take a Tech Detox

The more plugged-in we are to the electronic world, the less we engage in real-life encounters with loved ones—and ourselves. See what "unplugging" can do for your well-being.

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For one day a year each March, members from the nonprofit organization "Reboot" urge people to join them in observing the National Day of Unplugging.

From sundown to sundown during this 24-hour period, participants take a tech detox—a time-out from using anything that connects people to the electronic world. Thus, all devices such as computers, cell phones, laptops, iPods, tablets and Kindles are taboo, as are email and social media.

Today's world is so hectic for many of us that taking a short break from technology and its related paraphernalia makes good sense and can be therapeutic.

Being constantly connected in cyberspace, for instance, can become highly addictive. According to, "An AOL study found that 59 percent of PDA users check their inboxes every time a message arrives."

Top 10 Ways to Cope with an Increased Workload

Good habits are essential in times of stress created by an increased workload.

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As businesses lay off workers and cut costs, those remaining usually face an increased workload. Stress is almost a given. Here are some ways to cope with all that extra work. The habits will serve you whether the economy is weak or strong.

1. Let go of perfection. It could not serve you less at this time. Good enough is good.

2. Identify time-wasters. Once you’re clear what they are, start reducing them.

3. Plan everything. It will help keep you sane, centered and on track.

Top 10 Ways to Take a Break

Strategies for successfully taking a break from work—and increasing your value.

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If you're one of those people who don't take all the time off you need, you're not alone.

In 2006 Expedia reported that 36% of people polled don't plan on using all their paid vacation days, and 37% never take more than a week off at a time. The Globe and Mail reports that in Japan a whopping 92% of workers never use their full 15 days of holidays.

Why Do We Need Breaks?

Taking breaks allows you to:

• Avoid burnout• Find a fresh perspective• Create space to generate new ideas• Give yourself a pat on the back with a reward• Improve your mental health

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