How to Make Time For Personal Development

Michele Warg
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For a busy administrative professional, it is not uncommon for work to bleed over into the personal realm. When it does, finding time for personal development can feel impossible. To achieve a better work-life balance, seek out opportunities that energize and revitalize you.

Administrative workers are often pulled in many directions during the day, particularly when they support multiple people. When you arrive home after a long day at the office, it can be difficult to shift your focus to personal development work. The problem is compounded when you stay late to handle a large workload. When your job makes it impossible to find time for personal goals, setting boundaries can help. Let your boss know that your workload is out of control, and ask for support. Resist the temptation to stay late, leave promptly at 5 p.m., and leave work at work. Get better at saying no to colleagues who are abusing your willingness to help. By taking a stand for yourself and enforcing your limits, you can prevent work from infringing on your life.

Many people focus their personal development activities on trying to overcome weaknesses. While it is admirable to want to be a better person, a constant focus on the negative can take a serious toll on your psyche. A better option is to find new strengths or to work on reinforcing the things you already do well — or, at the very least, aim for a healthy balance. When the negative stigma is gone, you may find that it is easier to make the time for your development activities simply because they are more enjoyable.

As you find ways to pursue the personal development activities that inspire you, it is crucial to avoid using them solely as tools to help you achieve business success. The key word is "personal." Choose activities that inspire you or fulfill you, or help you meet a personal goal. That is not to say that your development should not affect your professional performance. If you are making an effort to be on time for dates and gatherings with friends, the increased attention to punctuality can only make you a better administrative professional. Likewise, a writing class can satisfy your creative urges and help you write better memos at work.

For many administrators, scheduling is the key to managing a chaotic schedule. The same tactic can work wonders in your personal life. Instead of planning to squeeze in personal development activities when you have a free moment, make them a priority. Choose two or three each week, add them to your calendar, and then stick to your schedule. In many cases, there is no other solution but to make yourself a priority.

Finding time for personal development is often a challenge for busy administrative workers, but success is possible. When you make your personal goals as important as your professional goals, achieving balance is a natural result.


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  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    It's hard to leave work at work sometimes @Cleo. Especially for someone like me who works from home! It's hard to get separation between work and home life sometimes as it all seems to meld together. I know that I need to find a way to leave work @work!!!!

  • ANITA K.
    ANITA K.

    Really helpful in managing work.

  • Cleo B.
    Cleo B.

    I agree leave work at work.

  • KEVIN O.
    KEVIN O.

    Thanks for the helpful thoughts

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