Room to Breathe – Focusing on Priorities

It seems like there are more moving parts to life than ever before. Often we feel the need to get lots of things done – and done quickly. Messages on portable devices can reach us anytime, anywhere. We feel the need to be available 24/7.  The constant, plugged-in rush to achieve can be harmful. It can lead to stress, illness, depression, and strain on the relationships that matter most to us.

The good news is that it is not necessary to do it all. You have the power to reach a healthier work-life balance. Develop your own personal strategy for gaining more control.

You might start by tracking everything you do for one week. This includes work-related and personal activities. You may be surprised to see the areas where time is getting away from you. Try to “unplug” where possible.

It is not realistic to think you can do everything in life all of the time. To combat unrealistic expectations, try these strategies:

  • Take stock of activities that aren’t helping your career or personal life, and try to reduce the time you spend on them.
  • Say no to requests; don’t feel guilty if you need to decline a request at times.
  • Try to see where your priorities have shifted too far in one direction or another, and then do something about it.

By clearing some of the extra tasks, you may find that you have more room in your life for fun activities.

Your SMU Magellan Employee Assistance member website has helpful tools. These include work-life balance tips, quizzes, exercises, and articles. They can help you to identify areas of life that you can reorganize to save time and energy. Log into  to learn more.

About Rebecca Sampson

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