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LIFE/WORK BALANCE is my “(+1) Competency Must-have for Meeting Professionals” (or anyone for that matter and may ultimately be the most important aspect to a person’s health and well-being.

Being a meeting professional is extremely rewarding in so many ways but very stressful at times (well most of the time). Therefore, it is a must that you take care to maintain a good balance between your work life and your personal life. It means taking time for YOU. It means setting boundaries. It means eating right, establishing and maintaining a realistic and sustainable exercise, relaxation and/or meditation regiment -- plus, getting adequate sleep. And it means asking for help BEFORE it becomes apparent that something is amiss and totally out of kilter.

I was late to the game in starting my career as a meeting professional. My son was older and well on his way to leaving home and starting his own career, so I did not have the struggles and issues young mothers with careers faced then (and still do today).

I honestly do not know what I would have done in those early years and am in awe of how single and/or married moms managed home and work to the extent they did then and still do but I do believe not having a well-balanced work and home life comes with a price – so take care of yourselves, your families. It’s important for you; it’s important for your family. It’s important for your/their present; it’s important for your/their future. So, strike that balance. You’ll/they’ll be glad you did.

Here are just a few quick tips I found that helped me keep my balance.

  • Change your clothes, wash your face and take your watch off when you get home from work.

  • Designate the dinner table as a cell phone free area at mealtimes.

  • Shut off your work cell phone and computer at a designated time each evening.

  • Don’t take your frustrations from home into work; nor work into home. Take a deep breath, put a smile on your face when you walk in the door at work in the morning and back home at the end of the day.

  • Take time to recharge with your activity of choice every day at whichever time works best for you.

  • When you’re working on-site, go for brief walks or look for reasons to get outside for short periods of time throughout the day to regroup.

  • Take your daily touch-base kind of meetings with staff outside whenever possible.

  • Find things that can be done outside when working on-site like stuffing name badges, sorting handouts, stuffing gift bags – weather and wind permitting, of course – and don’t feel guilty about it.

  • Go to the fitness center or take a walk or a swim when you’re on-site before you start your workday.

  • When traveling for work unpack and put things away and get yourself and your desk area in your hotel room organized as soon as possible upon arrival. Crazy as this may sound, I did this even when I was staying for a single night only. I felt more at home, more centered. It made me feel better; I was more productive and less scattered – simply, happy to be.

If you have other tips for creating/maintaining life/work balance, please do share. It’s important and may just be what someone who is struggling needs to hear.




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