Ask the Business Librarian 6-12

By Liz Kudwa

A: This is an extremely important issue and I applaud you for recognizing the importance of finding this balance.  We do have some great books that deal with the balance of work and personal life.

o    Life Matters: Creating A Dynamic Balance Of Work, Family, Time And Money by A. Roger And Rebecca Merrill

o    Harvard Business Review On Work And Life Balance.  Harvard Business Review

o    Design Your Self: Rethinking The Way You Live, Love, Work, And Play by Karim Rashid

o    Downshifting: How To Work Less And Enjoy Life More by John D. Drake

o    The Home Office Solution: How To Balance Your Professional And Personal Lives While Working At Home by Alice Bredin With Kirsten Lagatree

Additionally, I found a great article from Inc. Magazine that also offers some tips for how to overcome the challenge of work/life balance.

One life, one daybook
Keeping separate calendars can easily lead to conflicts between work tasks and home-life commitments. By scheduling everything in the same place, you’re less likely to slot in a conference call at the same time as your daughter’s violin recital.

Can’t spare a week? Take an hour
You don’t always need an extended vacation to unwind. Instead, set aside an hour each day to enjoy something completely unrelated to work — a short walk, a workout, or a chapter or two in a book. Quality, not quantity.

Audit your weekly schedule
Keep a log of everything you do during the week, from meetings to commuting to watching TV. With a sense of how the scales tip to one side or the other, you’ll be better able to re-balance them.

Plan and protect downtime
Don’t take leisure time for granted. A day in front of the TV is no substitute for a round of golf, a trip to the beach, or a BBQ with friends. Also, get routine household chores done on workdays, which will free up your days off for bigger and better things.

Know your options
More than ever, new technology is offering employers and employees greater flexibility with work schedules. This includes everything from a compressed workweek, to flex hours, job-sharing, and telecommuting.

Get your priorities straight
Take the time to decide what’s important for you. Then, try devoting your full attention to one thing at a time — concentrate on work at work, and family at home.

Stop being the boss
Entrepreneurs tend to be control freaks. That can be good for business, but bad for downtime. Whether it’s paying the bills or organizing a trip, why not let family and friends run the business of your life every now and then?

Elizabeth Kudwa  is the Head Librarian at the Leslie Library,
201 Pennsylvania Street, Leslie, MI.  Contact her at 517-589-9400 or by e-mail at