An Admin’s Guide to Finding a Work-Life Balance

March 15, 2024


Dad playing with son. Work/life balance.

Work-life balance is a big topic of conversation in today’s professional world. But as a busy administrative professional, trying to figure out how to achieve this coveted balance can feel like another task that needs to be added to an already full workload. 

We’ve rounded up a few tips that show you how technology can help give you more time back in your day. Then, we put together a guide for using that time to find balance in your professional and personal life.

Technology Tips to Add Time Back to Your Schedule

Multitasking is a big part of admin roles. With so many things to do and only so much time in a day, streamlining everyday processes can help give you extra time in your day to think about self-care, which is essential for avoiding burnout and finding work-life harmony. 

Try these simple technology hacks to carve out more time in your schedule:

  • Set up email filters. Use rules based on subject line, sender, or keywords to automatically sort and prioritize messages.

  • Create templates for routine tasks. Tools like Asana and Trello allow you to create templates for workflows, helping shorten the time you spend regularly organizing and assigning them.

  • Use collaboration tools. Google Workspace makes real-time collaboration much easier, cutting down on unnecessary back-and-forth emails and multiple versions of documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. 

  • Schedule “focus time” on your calendar. Add tasks you need to complete on your calendar and mark yourself as busy. Turn off email and chat notifications while you complete the job.

  • Set clear work hours. Work with your manager to establish what hours you must be available and online. Then, block your calendar during off hours. If you can, don’t add work email or chat apps to your phone, or silence them after work hours. Don’t check your email or respond to work chats during your personal time.

Build Mindfulness Strategies Into Your Day

With more breathing room in your workday, you can actually take time to breathe and practice mindfulness. Being mindful is a skill that helps you slow down and notice how you mentally and physically feel. And that’s an essential part of preventing burnout, being fulfilled at work, and enjoying your personal life. 

Add a few minutes of mindfulness practice throughout your work day with these tips:

  • Use a guided meditation app. Pick any of the many free apps that teach mindfulness exercises and meditation, and then spend 2-5 minutes every day using the app. A great time to do this is when you’re feeling stuck on a task or project.

  • Set a reminder to breathe. Seriously, set a reminder on your phone or calendar every hour to take a few deep breaths, roll your shoulders back, look away from your screen to reduce eye strain, and relax your jaw–it only takes 60 seconds!

  • Move your body. Sitting for hours at a time isn’t healthy and it doesn’t increase productivity. If your job provides a standing desk, use it. Take a walk during your lunch break, stretch for 10 minutes between meetings, or use headphones and walk during calls or meetings you don’t need to look at your computer during. 

Self-Care Routines to Support Your Work-Life Balance 

Despite what we’ve been told, self-care is not bubble baths, eye masks, or massages. Self-care is about establishing healthy habits that create balance in your professional and personal life, but  it can be hard to do so.

Consider adjusting your everyday routine with the below self-care practices. You don’t need to do all of them each day, but spreading them throughout your work week can help support a well-rounded life:

  • Meal prep. Find a few healthy recipes you can make each week and prepare them for lunch or dinner. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is an essential part of taking care of your overall health and wellness.

  • Make time to exercise. Pick a time of day you can realistically stick with and find a form of exercise you like. There are endless free exercise apps and YouTube videos that teach yoga, biking, cycling, running, walking, strength training, and body weight workouts. 

  • Be social. Having a community of people for support is a huge part of self-care. Hang out with friends, grab coffee with a past coworker, call a family member on your commute, or video chat with a group of friends while watching a show. 

  • Do things that bring you joy. Whether it’s reading, playing board games, joining a social league, trying a new restaurant, cooking a favorite recipe, traveling to a new city, taking art lessons, learning a new skill, practicing an instrument, or volunteering at an animal shelter, make time in your week to do the things that make you happy.

  • Get your finances in order. Money is an essential part of living life, and if your finances are an obstacle to finding a work-life balance, it’s necessary to figure out a budget and financial plan. Work with a financial advisor if the thought of crunching numbers for a budget is stressful! 

  • Ask for help when you need it. Sometimes you need support to figure out self-care, and that’s OK. Check with your employer to see if they offer any type of mental health counseling, financial wellness services, or nutritional counseling. There’s no shame in needing help, and not asking for it only hurts you. 

Next, learn how to prioritize tasks in a chaotic environment!

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