By Dr. Madeline Ann Lewis

The reality is, juggling a career and home life will be an ongoing challenge, but you can manage it through self-discipline.

Here are a few proactive steps you can take in an effort to achieve this balance:

1. Speak to your employer about possible programs and initiatives, such as flexible working schedules, job sharing, and the ability to work from home occasionally. This will allow you to give equal amounts of time to both your work and your family. Most people find that even if they have a heavy workload, being able to occasionally work from home makes the task much less stressful…because they’re in their comfort zone.

2. Determine what’s absolutely necessary and what isn’t. If there are activities or duties that can be delegated to others, by all means, delegate them. Never be ashamed or afraid to speak up and admit that there are things that you simply cannot do.

3. Resist the urge to try to be everything to everyone. If asked to take on an extra project at work that can easily be done by someone else, let someone else do it. We often find ourselves taking on more work than we should simply because we’re hoping for that big promotion. It’s important to realize that taking on too much will eventually render you incapable of doing any job as well as it should be done.

4. Do your best to leave work at work. When you’re at home, turn off your cell phone if you’re likely to receive work-related calls. Put your laptop out of view if you use it for work. Never bring work files or folders home unless absolutely necessary.

5. Try not to crowd all of your household chores into one day. Do a small load of laundry and run whatever errands you have each day so everything isn’t piled up waiting for you on your day off. Your off time should be spent rejuvenating, relaxing and refueling your mind and body.

6. Most importantly, be good to yourself. When you’re under stress, it’s imperative that you eat right, exercise and set aside a little time each day to do something you enjoy—even if it’s just watching old movies or listening to music, make time for it.

If the bulk of your time is spent working, your personal life will take a huge hit and the damage can be difficult, at best, to reverse. Don’t spend your entire life missing out on truly living and enjoying all that life has to offer.

Dr. Madeline Ann Lewis is President/CEO of the Deline Institute for Professional Development. She’s the author of “Finding Your Best Inside” and co-author of “Overcoming the Superwoman Syndrome,” an expert in women’s issues, career coach, and professional speaker. Her passion is helping women excel. Website: ; Email: