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The idea of work-life balance is often a whimsical day dream for hustling millennials today. More and more are spending longer hours at the office or starting families, it can feel impossible to create a balance that truly fuels the soul. Seven successful millennial employees and entrepreneurs share how they actively create the work-life balance they desire in their lives:
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“I use a tactic I call ruthless prioritization. Every few weeks, my priorities change and I’m constantly reflecting to stay mindful of those shifts. When I notice a priority shift, I ruthlessly re-prioritize – which essentially means I build my day around priority number one. For example, when getting into shape is priority number one, I schedule when I’m going to work out first then build the rest of my day around that commitment. If a special work event is priority number one, I’ll do the same – and so on and so forth. That’s not to say I don’t tend to my non-number one priorities the rest of the time, it’s just that I schedule my days around my top priority on any given day to make it non-negotiable.” – Stefanie O’Connell, millennial money expert and author.
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“I work very hard during the year to show that I deserve time off. I attempt to schedule one large trip (usually about 4-6 weeks) per year. To do so, I typically save any paid time off or am willing to take a short leave of absence in order to travel. I love traveling abroad and experiencing different cultures. It’s also very difficult to get in touch with someone overseas – a great way to truly unplug.” – Chad Boady, VP Platform Development Manager at a Financial Company
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“For me a work-life balance requires two things:
1. A well-planned schedule that includes set work hours and really focused business goals balanced with the important personal activities in my life, such as weekly family dinners, working out, individual time with my kids, basketball games with friends, etc.
2. Consciously engaging in what I’m doing at the time and not letting myself get distracted by all the other things I am NOT currently doing.
It’s far too easy to get sucked into work at the expense of the rest of your life, so I’ve found a set schedule gives me the boundaries I need to ensure that doesn’t happen. Turning one’s mind off from work is harder, but it’s vital or else time away from the office is simply time wasted. You’re not actually writing that proposal, modeling that budget or doing payroll when you’re with your family, so what’s the point of obsessing if the only result is ruining your time with them? Those work responsibilities will always be there when you get back (refreshed) the next day. And being refreshed can also make hitting goals more attainable. ” – Mike Russell, CEO of PaintZen
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“In order to strive to achieve an optimal balance, for me, it’s an exercise in prioritizing what needs my attention and where I want to focus my attention. It will always be a challenge, particularly in the early days of startup life. It’s a see-saw and it will always be a balancing act. But it becomes your lifestyle, and you need to enjoy the journey. If it’s not a priority for the business right now, you can delay it to make sure you go see your friends or family. If it’s important for your career, and the ROI will be meaningful for your future, then make the sacrifices necessary and shift your attention when you can.” – Ryan Harwood, CEO of PureWow
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“It’s all about prioritizing, and having will power. Try to not hit social media when you’re at work, and try to not do a ton of work when you’re outside of the office. Of course, when you’re starting – finding that balance is near impossible, but it’s important to at least try to separate the two. Work is not life. Life is not work.” – Ryan Alovis, CEO of The Stella Group
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“I do a really great job while I’m at work, but when the day is done, it’s done, and I sign off. There will always be more work to do, never enough hours in the day to do it, but the trick is to remind yourself that your job is just one component of your life, not the whole thing. ” – Kayla Buell, author and blogger
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“I create work-life balance by spending time focusing on what I do best and what I’m passionate about. That’s where my zone of genius is. When I’m in this zone, work doesn’t feel like work and time goes by quickly. ” – Tayo Rockson, CEO of UYD Management