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The Work/Life Balancing Act

The Work/Life Balancing Act

By Laura Harris

A New Decade, A New Generation

2020 is here and a new generation is beginning to enter the workplace: the unique, independent, and savvy Generation Z. You might be familiar with the several articles debunking this generation on LinkedIn, Google, or whichever site you frequent. I will admit it is interesting to see how each generation is different when it comes to the workplace, and I’d like to share how I, as an early career professional, maintain a good work/life balance and am able to pursue my passions outside of work.

Work Hours vs Personal Hours

In the short time I’ve been out of college (Go Cyclones!), I’ve discovered a few key work/life balance tips and tricks. Within my first week of working, I downloaded the Outlook app on my phone and turned all my notifications on—what a terrible decision. I found myself anxiously awaiting Outlook email notifications. That was my first big lightbulb ding moment—work should be left at work when at all possible. It’s nice to have the ability to check emails on my phone, but I don’t need the notifications on every time I’m out of the office. It’s ok to create space for myself outside of work.

Keeping on Track While at Work

During work hours, it’s easy to be side-tracked by smaller projects and push off bigger ones until the last moment. One of my teammates showed me OneNote (a note taking app) and I’ve never been better able to manage my priorities. I pride myself on being organized, but this took it to another level. I was able organize all my tasks and clients in a way that works perfectly for me.

ֱ offers opportunities to balance heads-down work with interactive activities. I’ve gotten involved in three of our Special Interest Groups (SIGs)—Caffeine and Productivity, Young Professionals, and Administrator/Coordinator—and love having the opportunity to learn new things and meet new people. I’ve also joined our Employee Events Committee and am excited to use my meeting planning skills to help plan events for ֱ staff. I’ve found it’s important to prioritize projects during work hours but to also enjoy the benefits of SIGS and staff events when I have time.

Finding Balance Outside of Work

Just as it’s important to balance my time while I’m at work, I’ve also found I need to balance how I’m spending my time outside of work too. It’s important to give my mind and body some rest. Sometimes, that means watching Netflix under 2 big blankets, reading a book for book club, and even going to the free Wednesday Yoga Sculpt classes near my house. With these changes, I’ve become better at adjusting to a manageable work/life balance lifestyle and letting myself relax once the workday is over. I sometimes still need to work on saying “no” to invitations (fear of missing out is a real thing), but I’d rather skip a few events so I can fully devote my energy to enjoying the ones I do attend.

Passions

Along with nurturing work/like balance, I’m also focusing on nurturing my passions. Some of my work-related passions support the goals I’ve set for first year at ֱ. I’m passionate about getting involved and sharing my ideas in SIGs and committees, as well as immersing myself in the meeting planning industry. Having balance in all areas of my life inspires me to work harder during the day so I can move up in my career and take on even more.

Outside of work, I’m passionate about traveling, working out, and volunteering. I’ve learned that the time I give myself to decompress benefits my career in ways I didn’t realize when I first began working. Pursuing passions outside of the workspace give me balance, which gives my mind a break and helps me refocus at work. Striking this balance between my tasks, my work ambitions, and my personal goals and ambitions help me to be well-rounded, balanced, and focused on these facets of my life, leading to their successes.

I am very thankful to be part of a team and company that supports work/life balance along with everyone’s passions. No matter your generation, it’s vital to create and maintain a work/life balance! If you’re still here with me, you know all this information is in my OneNote.

Laura Harris is a meetings administrator on the Meeting Team at ֱ.

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