August 21, 2012
Work-Life Balance: What Does Yours Look Like?
I have learned my lesson in terms of creating and maintaining somewhat of a work-life balance. I used to work absolutely ridiculous hours and spent every waking moment thinking about what needed to be done at work. This past year, I had some health issues arise, and it was just the wakeup call that I needed.
Last weekend, I was away visiting my best friend in Florida, and while it's starting to get busy around campus with our residential life staff arriving this week and the student orientation counselors arriving next week, not to mention new student orientation and returning students moving back in just a couple of short weeks, this weekend away is just what the doctor ordered—so to speak. I only get to see this friend once or twice a year, but when I see her, it's like no time has passed. We have a blast, and this visit was no different.
There are a ton of things to get done at work, but I know that the likelihood of me being able to take days off after this week will not really happen for at least the next couple of months. And that's okay. Being away for an extended weekend was so nice to relax and get my mind and body ready for the beginning of the school year. It really prepared me in terms of being as excited and enthusiastic as the students will be.
Being someone that puts a lot of time and care into my job and my volunteer roles within ACUI and other organizations, I put even more into my friendships and relationships with my family. At the end of the day, that is what really matters.
The fact that I have organized myself well enough at work to be comfortable to leave for a couple of days this close to the start of the academic year means that I have a good sense of my responsibilities, but also that I know that work will always be there, and there will always be work to be done. I can't tell you how amazing it is to have a new staff member to help shoulder some of the office tasks, projects, and responsibilities, not to mention someone that is extremely competent, enthusiastic, and ready for anything.
I will try my best to instill this type of work-life balance with my new staff member, but also continue to try and take care of me, just like I care for our students and their well-being throughout the year. It is a great feeling to have my students really support the fact that I try to leave on time (at least a few day a week during the academic year) and that when I come to a late-night event, they don't expect that I stay the entire time. My supervisor is exactly the same way and is always making sure that I take care of myself. She doesn't expect me to check my email when I am out of the office and she fully believes that vacation time and days off are healthy and an important part of any employees well-being.
Make time for friends and family and to enjoy life and the things about your life that make you the happiest. You'll be amazed how much it can change your life and your attitude, especially at work and at home. It also really helps to rejuvenate you, especially this time of year!
I encourage you to think about what your work-life balance looks like. Does your life revolve around work? If so, try to take more time to for yourself. Do you live to work or work to live?
is the Associate Dean for Campus Activities & Orientation at Albertus Magnus College.
Erin has responsibilities in advising student organizations, including the programming board and student government, and supervising department student employees. She oversees the Albertus@Night late night programming series, and serves as the Director of New Student Orientation. Active in ACUI since 2003, Erin is currently serving as the 2013 Conference Program Chair and is a member of the Region 1 Leadership Team.