Crossing the Streams: Market Norms, Social Norms, and Work-Life Balance

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Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Market norms and social norms collide to make work-life balance a challenge

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Would you ever give your friends $20 for having you over for dinner? And what the heck does that have to do with work-life balance? Read on.

Here’s the scenario. Your friends — people you like a lot, but just never see much of — invite you and your significant other over for dinner on a Friday night. You plan to pick up a nice bottle of wine after work, on your way to your friends’ house. You leave work and, rather than pick out the bottle of wine by yourself, you decide to pick up your significant other first because four eyes are better than two.

On your way, you get stuck in a snarl of traffic. A careless driver — probably on her way to her own dinner party — cuts you off so aggressively that you almost hit a car in the lane next to you. Your hackles are up — as are adrenaline and cortisol, which cloud your judgment and shut down the most advanced parts of your brain. By the time you get home to pick up your significant other, you’ve completely forgotten about the wine. Plus, if you delay much more, you’ll be late.

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Managing Stress at Work (infographic)

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Managing workplace stress is a key strategy for work-life balance.

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For most adults, work is a significant source of stress. In fact, research suggests that it’s second only to money, and it’s followed closely by family issues. Unfortunately, the stress we experience at work doesn’t stay at work. It affects our friends, our families and communities — not to mention our long-term health and wellbeing. If we want to keep our heads and our hearts while keeping our jobs, we have to manage stress. But how? Continue reading

You Have More Time Than You Think

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We all have more time than we think.

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There’s never enough time, is there? You work, you sleep, you schlep the kids to all of their activities, you fit in a meal here and there, and you might even find time to get to the gym. And yet, everywhere you turn, there’s some time management or work-life balance expert like me telling you that you can do more. It’s insanity, isn’t it?

Actually, no. Even though time is the only one of your four resources that is truly non-renewable, you have more time than you think. But don’t take my word for it. Let’s look at some data. Continue reading

Hold Yourself Accountable for Work-Life Balance

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Hold yourself accountable for work-life balance

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The quest for work-life balance too often turns into a finger-pointing exercise. “I’d have better work-life balance if it weren’t for my unreasonable boss.” “Life would feel a whole lot more balanced if my kids weren’t committed to dozens of activities.” “My clients won’t let me have even two hours of downtime.” The truth, however, is that we’re more responsible for our own work-life balance than we’d prefer to claim. And we have to set up a cadence of accountability if we want to stay on track.

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Work-Life Balance: A New Year’s Resolution You Can Keep in 2017

From working parent to career-loving parent with better work-life balance

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Well, it’s that time of year again, when we start contemplating that tradition known as the New Year’s resolution. With the best of intentions, folks will soon vow to eat better, to exercise more, to be nicer, to lose weight, and to quit smoking. Unfortunately, about 92% of those resolutions will fail.

While there are as many reasons for New Year’s resolution failure as there are people who make those resolutions, I believe the top reasons for failure can be boiled down to just two:

  1. The New Year’s resolution isn’t specific enough.
  2. The New Year’s resolution lacks a plan.

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