As someone in the healthcare PR industry, I’m often asked what influenced me to pursue this career path and what drives me to continue working in a field often known for long hours, endless to-do lists and occasional weekend work.

The answer has always been pretty simple – I am incredibly intrigued by science and healthcare innovation, and passionate about helping others.

Through our work managing FDA approvals, product launches and brand awareness campaigns, we are able to address unmet medical needs and improve the lives of patients worldwide. While these activities come with their fair share of stress and long hours, these efforts drive innovation – and only increase my passion for this industry.

So, in between the chaos and joy of everyday life – moving to NYC, getting engaged, planning a wedding and becoming an aunt – it is, and always will be, my responsibility to find a work-life balance that inspires me to challenge myself and pursue my passions, while also reducing stress.

The following tips have helped me to successfully grow my career as a PR professional, while also reducing stress, loving the work that I do, maintaining a social life, marrying my husband and living life to the fullest.

1) Set goals, plan and prioritize: Having pre-defined goals makes life that much easier because you are able to track progress and make adjustments along the way. Whether in your personal or professional life, it’s important for goals to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. Without these goals, you may experience confusion and frustration, which can have a negative impact on productivity.

2) Practice good time management: The key to time management is to regularly identify your tasks at hand and dedicate time to them. Map out your daily to-dos and schedule time for each task. While client requests and urgent deliverables may derail your tasks for the day, having a to-do list to serve as a point of reference will increase your productivity and efficiency.

3) Be positive and enthusiastic: Surround yourself with positive people and don’t accept negativity. Whether personally or professionally, look for the opportunity not the obstacle. Instead of telling yourself you can’t do something, tell yourself that you’re up for the challenge and excited for what lies ahead. Looking at the glass half full will change your mindset and attitude for the better!

4) Take time for yourself: Just because you have downtime doesn’t mean you have to start on a new project right away. Take advantage of a slow work-week to re-energize and take time for yourself!

5) When you’re away from work, away from work: This is something that many of us struggle with. When you’re on vacation, celebrating a special occasion with friends and family or simply taking time off for yourself, it’s important to shut down and step away from work – this means not checking email on your cell phone every five minutes! Enjoy the time you have away and be present in the moment.

Like any discipline – from exercising to studying to practicing medicine – achieving a healthy work-life balance takes practice and dedication. Whenever the workload starts to feel overwhelming, these five tips have always helped me steer back on track.

-Eliza Merves, Account Supervisor, Health

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