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Work-Life Fit

In order to optimize functioning, it is necessary to find the right fit between the various roles you play. Individuals often wear many different hats: partner, parent, worker, friend, classmate, etc. Often times these roles are in conflict, and you must be adept at attending to a variety of factors and assessing priorities.

How does it impact the workplace?

Individuals juggling work in addition to competing obligations from school and home may experience greater challenges in striking a balance. In these cases, it is even more crucial that you are adept at attending to different roles and setting priorities.

 

How does it impact relationships?

The quality of your relationships can determine the health of your work-life fit.  A large focus on work can cause strife in personal relationships, minimizing your sense of support.  Similarly, a preoccupation with relationship issues at the expense of work issues can be detrimental to performance, which can put further strain on the individual and the relationship. Finding ways to integrate work and your personal life is essential.

Self-motivation, self-discipline, time management, and the ability to prioritize are all essential ingredients to success. The following tips can help you to develop what you will need to succeed in finding a healthy mix of work and your personal life.

 

What are some time management strategies?
  • Plan your schedule
  • Make a weekly to-do list
  • Prioritize your work
  • Break large tasks into their smaller components
  • Set goals and deadlines for projects
  • Avoid perfectionism
  • Honestly assess the amount of time you waste

 

What should I do if I have too much stress?

Stress keeps us focused and aware of all the things that need to be done. It can motivate you to work harder and complete projects on time. But when your stress level becomes more than a motivating tool, or when pressures are too intense or last too long, you may be in stress overload.

Signs of Stress Overload

  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • A feeling of being constantly pressured, hassled, and hurried
  • Irritability and moodiness
  • Physical symptoms such as stomach problems, headaches, or even chest pain
  • Allergic reactions, such as eczema or asthma
  • Problems sleeping
  • Drinking too much, smoking, overeating, or using drugs
  • Sadness or depression

Ways to Relieve Stress

  • Exercise. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to keep stress levels under control.
  • Make the best out of stressful circumstances – be optimistic. Your outlook, attitude, and thoughts influence the way you see things.
  • Increase your Vitamin D. Take short walks in the sun. Studies show that Vitamin D increases a positive and focused mood.
  • Learn ways to relax your body through meditation, massage, and breathing exercises.
  • Ask for help. People who have a strong network of family and friends manage stress better.

 

What if I am a perfectionist?

Strive to be a high achiever not a perfectionist.

Perfectionism refers to a set of self-defeating thoughts and behaviors aimed at reaching unrealistically high goals.  It is based on perceived standards of excellence and often fueled by the need for others’ approval.

Contrary to the perfectionist’s belief that it is only through giving 100% to every project, assignment, or cause that they will find success, studies have shown that perfectionist attitudes actually interfere with success by leading to:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Guilt
  • Rigidity
  • Lack of motivation
  • Procrastination
  • Obsessive/compulsive behaviors
  • Eating disorders
  • Relationship problems

There's nothing wrong with striving to do the best you can; the key is in knowing your limitations. You can be a high achiever without being a perfectionist through practicing the following behaviors:

  • Set standards that are high but achievable.
  • Enjoy the process, not just the outcome.
  • Monitor your positive and negative thoughts.
  • View mistakes as opportunities for growth and learning.
  • React positively to constructive feedback.

 

Will a healthy lifestyle help my work-life fit?

Your physical and emotional well-being plays a major role in your professional and personal success. Take time to establish and maintain an active and informed wellness plan.

  • Exercise and sleep regularly.
  • Eat healthfully.
  • Make time for yourself.
  • Enjoy and spend time with friends and family.

 

How can I manage the competing demands of work and family?

Managing the multiple demands of your career, personal life, and school can be challenging, but you can be successful if you keep a few tips in mind:

  • Be where you are. Don’t worry about what you aren’t doing. Stay focused on the task at hand—don’t worry about work when you’re at home, and don’t let work or school interfere with spending quality time with family and friends.
  • Set a schedule for the week and get organized. Plan segments of time for family, exercise, and other tasks that need to get done. Also, figure out what you need in order to have a successful week, e.g., food, laundry, carpool plans.
  • Reward yourself. You should plan a reward for sticking to your schedule or completing your work before a deadline.
  • Remember that you are only human. Nothing will get done well if you are emotionally or physically drained. Plan exercise and creative activities into your week to help keep you energized.
  • Use your support system. Discuss your expectations for work with your family and friends. Inform them about your schedule so that they know when you can’t be disturbed and when they can expect your full attention. Negotiate household duties based on your schedule.
  • Have some fun. Make time to enjoy friends and family; watch a movie; or read pleasure books.
  • Learn to say ‘no.’ Just meeting your responsibilities at work, home, and school can be enough of a challenge. Only commit to those activities that add value to your life or can be managed fairly easily with competing demands.
  • Know when you need help.

FASAP can help you cultivate time management, priority-setting, and organizational skills.


Updated 05/02/2014

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