A Master Plan for Balancing Your Personal Life and an Internship

This article is a guest contribution from social media specialist Scott Ragin

work life balance in the entertainment business

Achieving balance is something we should all strive for

Today, almost every intern has a hard time balancing the life that exists between working and having fun. Life coaches and psychologists suggest this struggle to balance life and work, especially during an unpaid internship, can take a huge toll on a persons health if not managed properly.

Among the harshest consequences are depression, anxiety, fatigue, tiredness, poor professional performance and a bevy of other negative results. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Even though work and life can seem overwhelming, making it all work certainly can be done by following a pre-determined balance plan.

A pre-determined balance plan? Yes, this scientific approach to achieving balance is something that anyone can execute and see dramatic increases in their existence.

So let’s talk about it.

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To function effectively, we all do a tremendous amount of work to ensure that all of our errands get appropriate amounts of time and attention. This daily lifestyle dance is a challenge because we all gravitate towards the things we want to do rather than the things we have to do.

Greg Harvey in his alluring book Manage Your Life with Outlook For Dummies writes that a good start before developing a master plan is to divide your general activities into the “good” and “bad” categories to differentiate the ones that may be enjoyable and unpleasant. This is done specifically to establish a time balance that will ensure that each errand is provided the appropriate attention.

Here’s how you develop your balance plan:

Action 1: Decide on the Importance of Errands

The first thing in our master plan is to decide what is really important and makes a positive difference in your life, while eliminating the ones that make you exhausted and drained.

For example, some people tend to try to serve the needs of the others around them without paying attention to their own needs that become overshadowed. As the result, these people often find themselves wasted for others while their own errands remain unattended.

We don’t want that.

Prioritizing personal activities that make you attend to your own business rather than the business of others, is paramount to balance.

Set priorities and be true of them. Prioritize the ones that bring you the most benefits and make you happy.

We aren’t suggesting selfishness, instead we’re focusing on productivity and an attention to personal needs.

Action 2: Dedicate Some Time to Getting a Meaningful Rest

The plan of balancing work and personal life will sure contain a lot of important entries, such as dentist appointments, store visits, and other daily endeavors, but did you make some room for fun and, more importantly, rest?

The fun we’re referring to here is the kind of fun that gets the batteries recharged.

Meaningful rest is the key to work life balance - clear your mind already! Click To Tweet

It may include a nice bath time, evening workout, early nap, and even a night in the club, whatever really works for you. The main point here is that you need to feel refreshed and energized and ready to get back to work after spending a meaningful time resting.

An hour spent in front of TV does not count, it is not rest, rather it is a distraction that does not reduce pressure. Make some time for something that makes you relax, something that you look to all week in the office.

Action 3: Schedule One Thing That You Look Forward to Each Day

Is there something that you would like to be doing each day without interference with work?

It could be playing basketball on the nearby court, reading a book, having a relaxing massage, or any activity that does not take a lot of time off the schedule. A positive activity on your calendar will provide a satisfying hour in the everyday schedule to take your mind off work, which has been shown to improve overall work productivity.

Maybe your favorite thing is to sleep?

Many Japanese companies actually encourage their employees to sleep on the job. Some other companies, such as Aussiessay, take a slightly different approach by encouraging their workers to use a basketball court and table tennis table during the lunch hours.

Whatever option you choose, make sure that you have something to look forward to each day.

Action 4: Ask for Support and Understanding

When you have the final draft of your schedule prepared, others need to know about it before you proceed to implementation.

There is nothing wrong with asking for help - it is not a sign of weakness Click To Tweet

These people can include friends, colleagues, bosses, and everyone you encounter on the daily or weekly basis that can disrupt your new plan. Contact them and tell about your schedule to achieve a better life-work balance and ask for understanding and support.

There is nothing wrong with asking people for support and understanding because it really can help you to stay on the schedule at all times.

Action 5: Use Technologies Wisely

Computers, tablets, and smartphones can be a really serious interference with our personal life because they are used for so many things. However, spending time on Facebook does not contribute to a positive work-life balance but rather blurs the line between them.

Use the technologies wisely or better yet, don’t use them at all.  Turning off the phone and staying away from social media for an hour or two is a good start. Setting these technological boundaries will go a long way to free time in your schedule.

Playing on Facebook is not a way to recharge, you need real rest Click To Tweet

Balance is Beautiful!

The plan is finally done.

These five actions effectively draw the line between work and personal life by making you more organized and increasing your awareness of structure and order. Remember, achieving work-life balance is something that cannot be done overnight, so keep trying and stay true to the schedule you’ve developed.

Another thing: only you know how you really feel, so if anyone says the balance is no good, just ignore it. After all, this is your life and the person that knows the best is you.

Scott Ragin is a social media specialist working in multi-channel marketing, content strategy and connecting social media to business initiative. He loves guiding other people through their marketing practice and shares his ideas as as blogger. Feel free to contact him on Facebook.

About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the broadcast media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for WorkinSports.com & WorkinEntertainment.com.

Recently Brian has become addicted to Google+ and LinkedIn so add him to your circles and make him a contact. No seriously, you should.