The Balancing Act: Tips for Finding Your Work-life Balance

Melea Reicks Licht                                                                    Elaine Edwards

       Iowa State University                                                           Kansas State University                                                      

Key Concepts

  • We’re All in this Together
  • Communication is Key
  • Recognize When You are Out of Balance
  • Organization Will Set You Free
  • Adjust the Sails
  • Know Where you Want to Go


Family Time

  • Schedule family fun as you would a business meeting
  • Can be general to allow for flexibility within
  • Make it routine
  • Be accountable to your family as you would your boss/coworkers
  • Eat dinner together as often as possible
  • Include family time and a date night
  • Technology can help with family communication (skype, mobile, facebook)


  • The best time of day to workout is the time that works for you
  • Put on workout clothes first thing in the morning or when you get home
  • Exercise should be fun – try different activities until you find one you like
  • Play together as a family or with friends – walks, bike rides, Wii, etc…
  • Request (or give) your department 30 minutes off each day for exercise
  • Offer wellness-related activities in your department
  • Avoid take-out, plan ahead to make it possible to cook at home
  • Menu Plan – do your own or check out an online service, examples:
  • Prep on the weekend or evening before
  • Freeze entire meals or meal kits
  • Whoever is home first can start cooking (older kids included)
  • Share dinners with friends, take turns cooking

Civic Organizations

  • Be familiar with organizations’ meeting schedule, attendance policy, etc… before becoming a member
  • Serving as an officer – keep in mind you have future years to serve
  • Ask a lot of questions about responsibilities before agree to serve – much of the work goes on behind the scenes
  • Limit each family member to one plus one you can do together as a family



  • Check email periodically instead of leaving it open all day
  • Schedule in actual “work” time so you’re not overscheduled with meetings
  • Align your to-do list with office priorities.If you feel overwhelmed and need help prioritizing ask your supervisor.
  • In addition to a “to-do” list keep a “done” list. It will serve as a record for phone calls, meetings, etc. and it will show how you are actually spending your time.
  • Delegate appropriately.Let your colleagues, assistants and hourly workers or students help.
  • Communicate regularly with your boss.


  • Take time for R and R
  • Reading
  • Movies
  • Art classes
  • Dance classes
  • Home and garden projects
  • Travel
  • Shopping
  • Make time for friends
  • Social get-togethers
  • Picnics
  • Bowling league
  • Evening out
  • Vacations
  • Exercise