How to Have a Work-Life Balance - "Amanda Wakes Up" Teaches Valuable Lessons

Work-life balance is a term that getting thrown around all the time. How to be great at both your job and everything else going on in your life. It's no easy task, no one ever said it is, but it can be accomplished.

CNN's Alisyn Camerota wrote a book about an eager journalist named Amanda, whose quick rise to TV network fame comes at the cost. In "Amanda Wakes Up," main character Amanda struggles to balance her work life with her boyfriend and sleep. An experience many have dealt with first-hand. I caught up with Alisyn Camerota to ask her personal opinions on work-life balance.

She says that "if you have any demanding career, it’s a challenge to make it work with your personal life." Over time, Alisyn has found a work-life balance that works for her, but that came after years of late nights and sometimes 100 hour weeks in the newsroom. Her advice on how to eventually achieve a good balance,  "go in there and kick ass and then start to dial it back.”  Alisyn believes that sometimes work-life balance will tip towards work, but it's okay as long as it doesn't stay that way. 

Go in there and kick ass and then start to dial it back -Alisyn Camerota

If you're struggling with work-life balance, here's 5 tips from the Mayo Clinic to get you back on track. 

  • Make a list. Put family events on a weekly calendar, and keep a daily to-do list at home and at work. Having a plan helps you maintain focus. When you don't have a plan, it's easy to be sucked into the plans and priorities of others.
  • Reduce email access. Check emails no more than three times a day — late morning, early afternoon and late in the day. If you access email first thing in the morning, you tend to focus on and respond to other people's issues rather than being proactive about your own needs.
  • Learn to say no. Whether it's a co-worker asking you to spearhead an extra project or your child's teacher asking you to organize a class party, remember that it's OK to respectfully say no. When you quit accepting tasks out of guilt or a false sense of obligation, you'll have more time for activities that are meaningful to you.
  • Leave work at work. With the technology to connect to anyone at any time from virtually anywhere, there might be no boundary between work and home — unless you create it. Make a conscious decision to separate work time from personal time.
  • Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep increases stress. It's also important to avoid using personal electronic devices, such as tablets, just before bedtime. The blue light emitted by these devices decreases your level of melatonin, the hormone associated with sleep.

If you're a woman going into the field of journalism, or already there, I highly recommend reading Camerota's book. It's funny, relatable, and informative; while not being too serious. I great and easy read for someone looking for a book to connect to.

Photo credit: Cover - Alisyn Camerota, 1