Balancing Work/Life Commitments

Life has always been busy, right? However, in our hyper-connected age, it seems there is less time to do more things as well as less space to simply "be". As triple-threat educators, the expectation for us to be part of a dynamic community is an understood. We teach our classes, coach, direct, facilitate, advise, and work in residential life. However, at what point do we address the reality that "our" lives have a place as well? For younger educators, this may mean a social life, or outside activities and pursuits. For older faculty with families, it is balancing youth soccer/dance/scouts/graduate school with our own commitments as teachers. How does everything get done? As an added pressure, smartphones have created a work culture where we are "always" available. Parents, colleagues, administrators, sports reports, college coaches,.......the list goes on. Managing these added commitments further complicates our abilities to balance our careers and our own lives.

Too often, we can become lost in the "total institution" and not cultivate the other areas of our lives that are important. Families may feel left out. Our own passions may be put on the very back burner. Our health and fitness can take a hit. Connections with others outside of school become limited. So, what to do? Be clear about making fences. In other words, have a clear mental picture of times when you are not the triple threat. Be open and honest with the administration regarding the struggles you may be facing. The reality is that administrators get it. They want you to be both happy and productive. Make schedules that give you "space" to unplug from school life, even if just for an afternoon. Find groups outside of school with which to get involved. Lastly, embrace the simple fact that you have chosen a lifestyle not a career.