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Too much work, not enough play? Boston professionals share their advice for maintaining a healthy work-life balance

Posted by Alex Pearlman  March 15, 2012 06:14 PM

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balancing act life and work.jpgBy Lina Roque

We live in a world that's always on, a world filled with hasty change and escalating demands. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, these demands keep us from being on top of our game, both at work and in our day-to-day life, and affect our work performance, health, and happiness.

The key to finding a good work-life balance is learning how to relax, turn off, and stay organized. Staying organized gives you the ability to turn off and relax and pick up right where you left off when you turn on again. A good balance can help make you more creative, more productive, more collaborative, healthier, and happier.

So, how do you find that perfect balance? Here's some advice from Boston-area professionals.

Meagan Shaffer, director of social media at Kel & Partners and a budding mosaic artist:

  • Have fun in the office. Listen to music at your desk; Pandora and Spotify are great platforms to help you find music you can work to. Play a (harmless) office prank on a friendly co-worker to get people laughing.
  • Give yourself a break. Small breaks throughout the day help your brain re-energize and get re-inspired for better productivity. Deliver a message in person, rather than just picking up the phone. Stretch your legs on a quick walk around your floor. Spend 10 minutes reading your favorite blog.
  • Leave work at work. Although the lure of the smartphone is strong, resist not only for yourself but for your friends and family. While it may not be possible to head home right at 5 p.m. every night or ignore your phone all weekend, try to plan in advance for a night when you can unplug.
Jamie Laliberte, content marketing specialist by day, radio personality by night:
  • Plan ahead. If you want to take a break from climbing the corporate ladder and give into your creative side, you need to be able to plan ahead. Whether you're physically writing things down or using a calendar app, find a way to organize your to-do list.
  • Find time to work outDon’t make excuses. Keep a bag of workout clothes in your car or at your desk.
  • Take the time to socialize. It’s easy to become a hermit in a cube or office, but social interaction is key to establishing rapport and boosts your endorphins.
  • Participate in work functions. Work-sponsored Happy Hours, parties, optional training sessions, etc. can help you connect with people you otherwise wouldn’t have met (i.e., those outside your department), who could influence you to do something new and exciting.
Melissa Reohr, senior buzz builder at Likeable Media and a Bentley University senior:
  • Take advantage of extra time. Pick up an extracurricular activity that will benefit you in the long run. Say “yes” to a new hobby, volunteer opportunity, or job you'll enjoy. The busier you are, the more accomplished you’ll feel.
  • Sync your to-do lists and calendars. Remember, staying organized is key to maintaining a good work-life balance. Syncing all your calendars will ensure that you always know your schedule, even on the go.
A good way to start finding your work-life balance is to challenge yourself to identify one behavior that you can change. What makes you happiest? What stresses you out the most? Determine your answers, then focus on a few areas in which you can improve, whether it's socializing more at work or planning out your day better. Soon you’ll be living happier, too!

How do you successfully balance your job and the rest of your life?

Photo by Digitalnative (Flickr)

About Lina -- My life could be described as a cross between Eliza Thornberry's (hello '90s!) and 'Mean Girls,' having been home-schooled in the Amazon in my junior high years, then moving to Small Town, USA, and attending real high school. I attended and graduated business school with a hippie-meets-corporate-girl mentality and a passion for doing good and keeping it real. Now, I'm a hands-on media girl, tech-savvy, and have a desire to communicate news and trends from a multicultural perspective.

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