Work-life balance is hard anytime of the year, but the summer months prove to be especially challenging. My hope is that these 3 tips for achieving work-life balance will enable you to enjoy a stress-free, productive summer with family and friends.
Not too long ago I went on vacation with my family. With my 3G card in tow, I figured that balancing work and family would be a piece of cake. I'd have extra hands to tend to my daughter and I'd tackle outstanding work-related tasks with time to sip cocktails while enjoying the sunset.Then reality sunk in. I tried to juggle work, my daughter, and time with my family. This was definitely no small feat. It meant long days, late nights, and early mornings. At least I had a tan to balance my sleep deprivation.
A recent article from CNN.com notes that in today's society we struggle with unplugging. Working mother or not, unplugging from your email, cell phone, home phone, or other communication gadgets is hard. If the thought of cutting the cord makes you nervous or simply isn't feasible, know that you're not alone.
Identify priorities. What do you need to get done versus what do you want to get done? Will you want to unplug and disconnect completely or will you want to touch base occasionally with a few people at work? Answering these questions will enable you to divide your time based on what needs to be addressed daily.
Establish guidelines. Once you know what you need to accomplish, it's time to determine how. Specifically when and where. Will you be checking in each morning from your hotel room or vacation home? Decide on what works best for you and for those you may be traveling with.
Set expectations. Once you've identified your priorities and established some personal working guidelines, then you need to set expectations with others. Communicate your plan with your home office and/or clients. Let them know what to expect and what you expect in return from them.
While these tips will look and be implemented slightly differently for everyone, they offer a starting point. Prior to your next vacation, take a moment to go through them. My hope is that you'll feel less anxious going into your vacation and be able to enjoy every moment matter what you're doing.
(Photo credit: Joe Dsilva, Flickr)