Check Out These Tips for a Great Work/Life Balance

Julie Shenkman
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Professionals often wear many hats and are expected to sacrifice personal time to further their career. You can achieve healthy boundaries and a career balance to succeed on the job and within your personal life. Learn how to limit the stress and pressure from supervisors and careers so that you can minimize the personal sacrifice that comes with a professional career.

Healthy boundaries are an important element of optimal mental health. You must first realize that you have your own opinions, desires, needs and wants that you should and can fulfill on a regular basis. You can have both a professional career balance and a thriving personal life when the line is drawn.

Limit the stress of a challenging and demanding job by analyzing how others act and react in fast-paced careers. Supervisors and colleagues who rush you into decisions or tasks are often working through emergencies that are centered on their goals, not yours. It is natural to want to chip in and help when office- or business-related tasks are piling up, but if you are buried in work yourself, find polite ways to say no. Resist the urge to take on more than you can accomplish without sacrificing your health and personal time.

Evaluate decisions carefully to create healthy boundaries on the job. Determine how past commitments and efforts have been perceived and analyze whether or not taking on more work is worth the time and sacrifice. Take an honest look at how colleagues or supervisors have monopolized your time and impacted your workload in the past. It may be necessary to take on an extra project, but you are not required to complete a majority of the work for colleagues who are underperforming.

Identify behavior from colleagues or supervisors that is potentially abusive. Create healthy boundaries by distancing yourself from people who take advantage of your skills and talents or berate you emotionally. Abusive managers and colleagues reduce morale and cause undue stress that can impact your work and life balance. Brainstorm strategies to respond to people who act unprofessionally and consult with your human resources department if the behavior is abusive. Emotional stress on the job filters into personal tasks and habits, which ultimately can impact your mental and physical health.

Set healthy boundaries by allowing yourself time to carefully think through decisions, organizational strategies and prioritizing. Revisit difficult decisions and tasks after you have had time to evaluate techniques that are productive and efficient.

Colleagues and supervisors may not understand the importance of creating healthy boundaries at first, but employees who are productive, eager and consistent about obtaining a work and life balance can calmly reiterate the impact of achieving professional and personal happiness. Professionals may disagree, but in the end, no one has a right to tell you how to feel or that what you feel is wrong.

Photo courtesy of Bob Miller at



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