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How can you make 2016 your Ideal Year? Let's start with an important priority: work/life balance. Strayer University’s director of Washington, D.C. area campuses, Edmund Breitling, knows a thing or two about managing both professional and personal lives, having a career and personal interests that span a variety of roles and phases. Reflecting on his first boss, Breitling said, “She was big on making sure her team felt appreciated and had time to recharge.  She’d be excited when I planned a vacation, and I knew that while I was away she would make sure my work was handled. I try to instill that same positive energy with my team’s work/life balance.” This set the tone for Breitling’s career path, always making sure his team feels valued. “I really try not to micro-manage them and always have an open door policy.  I also like to have a high energy stand-up meeting every day about where we are and include a motivational message at the end.” With the knowledge that everyone’s life is different, Breitling knows that it is important to remember that, “work/life balance is in the eye of the beholder. Having a conversation with your supervisor and your team members about expectations is the most important piece of the puzzle.” When he’s not leading his team to success or helping students, Breitling is hitting the slopes in the winter, playing rugby in the summer, and always on the lookout for fun new places to explore in the D.C. area. Watch Breitling’s tips below, and consider a few others when trying to maintain a balance between work and life.


Whether it’s lunch, a coffee run or a quick walk, take time out of your day to unwind and concentrate on yourself and well-being. Taking a quick breather can reinvigorate you between projects and meetings.


It’s great to be ambitious, but don’t overwhelm yourself. Learning to say “no” can be difficult, but you’ll do better at your given responsibilities and have more time with family and friends. Remember, the quality of your work is more important than the quantity.


In a tech-saturated world, it’s all too easy to get overwhelmed.  Though challenging, set aside time each day to tackle priority emails and projects, and flag those that can wait until the next day.  Working smarter and being more efficient with your time can help prevent the burnout that may come from trying to complete everything in one 24-hour day.  Also, make time to spend time with your family, do something you love, or just relax.


In your spare time, do something that brings you joy—take up painting, read a good book once a month, go for a run every morning. Activities that boost your happiness will improve other aspects of your day.


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