Maintaining a Work-Life Balance

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by Alex A. Kecskes

With everyone worried about losing their jobs in this bad economy, it's hard not to become a workaholic. That said, if you have a family, working overtime, sacrificing your weekends and taking work home with you can put a real strain on your spouse and kids.

A few tips to help maintain your work-life balance:

Cell Phone Tactics. Let everyone, including your boss, know that you can't be reached by cell phone after working hours. Tell your boss that you have certain regular activities planned with your family after work. And that you simply aren't reachable during those times. Do this when you first hire on, when you're promoted, or when you're first assigned a big job. If your employer provides a cell phone for business travel. Use it only for business. Don't take it home with you.

Email Tactics. Admin managers get hundreds of emails a day. You don't have to answer or react to every one of them right away. Answering emails as soon as they arrive can be a major job interrupter and eat away valuable time. Friday's are usually the worst with emails flooding in at 4 p.m., each loaded with tasks people expect you to work on over the weekend. In each case, prioritize these. Then respond to them at the end of the day, just before you leave.

Work Tactics. Prioritize your tasks and make them public. Share your work schedule with your boss and give yourself ample time for each task. If people know exactly what you'll be doing, there's a chance you won't be overloaded with new tasks. Instead, existing tasks will simply be reshuffled or eliminated to make room for new ones.

Emergency Tactics. If you're an admin manager, make sure your staff knows how to keep things moving along should you need to leave early for family matters that crop up.

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Alex A. Kecskes has written hundreds of published articles on health/fitness, "green" issues, TV/film entertainment, restaurant reviews and many other topics. As a former Andy/Belding/One Show ad agency copywriter, he also writes web content, ads, brochures, sales letters, mailers and scripts for national B2B and B2C clients.

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