September: Letter from the President

Why wait for the start of a new year to revise your routine? This month, we’re focused on work-life balance—something you can achieve even when you’re in the midst of strategic planning retreats and settling into a routine after a fun summer.

In the past decade, dozens of research studies have examined work-life balance among public relations professionals. Their studies have confirmed what we all know—this issue is complex, dealing with factors like the pay gap among men and women, the “always connected” role of PR pros, multi-tasking and technology, and our ever-evolving relationships with and commitments to friends, family and the organizations we support. A quick Google search brings up hundreds of articles offering anywhere from three tips to 25 ways to improve your work-life balance. Instead, I offer the following structure to help you customize your approach.

Assess Your Daily Routine – Take a step back and truly consider why you are involved in various activities. Are there ways to streamline your personal obligations or business processes to free up more time for things you enjoy? Check out the benefits available to PRSA members to save time and money.

Identify a New Challenge – One study found that members who identified with the PRSA mission were less stressed and more satisfied with their careers. So, instead of filling your schedule with more work, consider serving in your local PR community. We can connect you with opportunities in event planning, sponsorships and partnership development, and student outreach.

Implement Small Changes – As anyone who has started a fad diet knows, we’re much more likely to succeed if we make small changes over time. So, instead of cutting your workweek from 80 hours to 40 hours immediately, pull back gradually. This will likely also require you to delegate responsibilities, a skill that is key to balancing our lives.

Bonus Note: For all my fellow working parents out there, check out this CBS This Morning clip highlighting a Harvard study which found children of working mothers will be just fine.

So, how do you balance your work and personal lives? Do you have a favorite practice that might help others? Please share tips below – I know I can use them!

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