Oh - the old work/life balance. It is a daily sometimes hourly challange.

That is why I loved this article in this month's Real Simple 10 Secrets of an Unflappable Working Mother written by Michelle Slatalla.

I myself love the beloved 60 multi-tasking minutes in the middle of the day that she mentions, known as the lunch hour.

Yes, sometimes I spend mine scarfing down a Lean Cuisine at my desk and blogging (er, like right now).

But that is a precious 60 minutes.

Last week I was able to get my taxes done, buy a birthday gift , AND pick up some fixins for dinner that night with 10 minutes to spare. Phew! Then I didn't have to run those errands on the way home from work. I love a productive lunch hour.

We are also very fortunate to have an on-site workout facility at the Star Tribune and that is another great way to spend a lunch break. I swear one day I was so busy at home and work that I felt like I hit the ground running and was going at a full sprint all day. So much so that the lunchtime spin class felt like my relaxing downtime. Much needed stress relief. I call that productive too.

Or there is the pre-planning of tomorrow's outfit. And that means myself and the kids. I've gotten out of the habit of digging around for clothes from the clean laundry bin in the morning. Now, I set them out the night before, that helps immensely as I bump around in the dark hours of the morning getting ready. The kids may or may not choose to wear what I've laid out. But at least there are two socks that match. Maybe...

Goes without saying but I'm still saying. My biggest help in work life balance is my awesome husband Peter who goes above and beyond with errands and work around the house. We're a team and do our best to divide and conquer.

Okay now, I've got 45 minutes to go and get more diapers, locate a purple shirt for wear purple day at Ben's pre-school and grab a co-worker goodbye card.

Ready, set, go!

What are your work/life balance tips?