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North Section News and Life/Work Balance

It's July already! That means it's time for news from the North Section. I don't have much to report from the North section right now, but I wanted to remind everyone of Lou Ann Jopp's retirement. We'd like to say congratulations, Lou Ann from NEAFCS- MN Affiliate! I understand Lou Ann will be able to join us at the Professional Development Day, so we can all wish her well!

I also wanted to share some information that was requested of Jo Musich and me when we contributed to the MAEE Professional Development webinar for the North section back in April. At that time, Jo and I spoke about Life and Work Balance. We cited information from the Society for Human Resource Management indicating the following factors as contributing to interest in and serious consideration of work/life balance: 1) Global competition 2) Renewed interest in personal lives and family values 3) An aging workforce. I think these are considerations that we can all relate to in our work as extension professionals.

The strategies we offered are not new, but are always a good reminder to me of what I need to reflect in my own life, perhaps you'll feel the same:
• Know your values
• Drop unnecessary activities
• It's not easy but LEARN TO SAY NO
• Accept help/share responsibilities
• Know and apply time of day efficiencies
• Develop methods to deal with clutter
• Take action to reduce stress
• Plan fun and relaxation-play dates

Probably the biggest learning for me as we developed our presentation was something that Jo shared from www.worklifebalance.com:
Your best individual work-life balance will vary over time, often on a daily basis. The right balance for you today will probably be different for you tomorrow. The right balance for you when you are single will be different when you marry, or if you have children; when you start a new career versus when you are nearing retirement.
For me, remembering this and getting through one day or one week, then adjusting what "balance" means for me, makes a difference in managing the stress of many things tugging away at my time and energy.
With all of this in mind, be sure to get out and enjoy our wonderful Minnesota summer!

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