Maintaining your career/academic and personal life can get pretty hectic sometimes. Most adults can probably admit to having their school or work life intrude on their relationships or families and vice versa. Being able to strike a balance between your professional and personal lives can help you become more productive and less likely to burnout. This balancing act takes careful planning and preparation, but it is possible.

Set priorities. To successfully walk the tightrope between professional and personal you need to understand where your priorities lie. Therefore, in a pinch or when faced with an urgent circumstance, you aren’t conflicted about what’s most important to you.

Create a list of the most significant aspects of your life. Of course, you might include items like family, romantic relationships, work, and spirituality. You might also include volunteering, staying active, maintaining a social circle or other passions.

Review your list and rank these items starting with #1 as the most important, #2 as the second most important and so on. Your rankings will show where your priorities lie. That way you can be sure to make an effort to incorporate these top priorities into your daily and weekly schedules

Create a schedule and try to stick to it. If your week goes by in a blur and you are unable to recount which tasks you do on which days, it can be helpful to spend a week logging everything you do.[3][4] After this week has passed, you will have a better idea of how to factor in different work/school assignments and personal activities or errands into your schedule.

  • It can be most helpful to develop a weekly schedule involving all the constants like work, classes, church, and social activities with other one-time events. Then, each night before map out a daily to-do list of the individual tasks you need to get done based on your priorities.
  • For your daily schedule, highlight the three most important tasks you need to get done each day (aside from actually going to work or going to school).These might be professional items like working on a presentation or personal items like going to the dentist or your daughter’s ballet recital.
  • You may even create two separate lists if this one is to constricting – one with three major tasks for work/school and one with three major tasks for home. As long as you have accomplished these 3 to 6 tasks each day, you will have been productive.

Eliminate distractions. You’d be surprised how much distractions are impeding on your time and productivity. Research estimates claim most people spend about 20 minutes of every hour handling unplanned distractions. As a result, about two whole hours of each day is spent trying to refocus after being distracted. If you can minimize the distractions in your professional life, you can prevent it from constantly interfering with your personal life. Try these tips to eliminate

Focus on important rather than urgent tasks – urgent tasks are reactive-based, important tasks are proactive-based

  • Turn off the notifications on your phone or computer
  • Create a clean and clutter-free work space
  • Put your phone away
  • Close any programs you’re not actively using
  • Get water, snacks or visit the bathroom during routine breaks to minimize physical interruptions

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