Do you feel frazzled, disorganized and overwhelmed with your work life balance?
Are you frustrated that you are not putting enough time into your career or business because of family demands on your time?
Do you feel guilty that you are not spending quality time with your children and spouse?
We seem to be under the impression that we can do it all. THIS ISN’T TRUE! The most successful women out there have a ton of help! You may not be able to justify (or even want to) spending cash on help. So it’s down to you to work out the best balance for YOU.
My aim is to steer you to a place where you may not be achieving as much as you would like but you are at least at ease with the balance in your life.
Let’s dive in.
No matter what age your kids are, their routines change quickly and often. You need to stay flexible! I remember when my son was small, I used to use his afternoon nap time to get my office work done. A feeling of pure panic set in on the first day he decided that he didn’t need that afternoon nap. I wondered when on earth I would find the time to get the work done!
If you are currently at the point they are toddlers and you feel like you need eyes in the back of your head at all times, then please trust me, it will get easier.
The steps we’ll be taking are;
- Self care
- Making life as simple as possible
- Planning and organisation
There’s a saying that you cannot pour from an empty cup – this is so true! I’m sure that you’ve experienced that feeling when there are demands on your time, yet all you want to do is go and hide. You just don’t have the energy to be your best self.
Before any other step, therefore, we need to look after ourselves. Just like they tell you to do on a plane – put your own oxygen mask on first!
This could be the hardest step for you if you are used to putting everyone else first.
By looking after ourselves first I’m taking about;
- eating well;
- staying hydrated;
- self-development; and
- some quality me-time.
Maintain hobbies that you are interested in and aim to maintain your own identity where you are not just someone’s Mom.
If you have small children I know that it can be incredibly difficult to find the time. Find some time by;
- swapping time with other moms (where you take their offspring from time to time in return for them taking your babies);
- using nap times;
- getting up earlier;
- staying up later; or
- using your spouse or family to babysit.
- I don’t think you’d be the worst mom in the world if you used the tv sometimes to buy yourself some me-time.
Making life as simple as possible
Prepare double the quantity you need at meal times. Put the excess in the freezer. This then becomes a time-saving option at another time.
Outsource where you can or what you can afford someone else to do on your behalf. For instance, house cleaning. Choose a job that you don’t like doing and there’s a double whammy effect. You get to save the time it would have taken you AND you don’t have to do the job either.
Declutter your home and workspace. Have a place for everything and everything in its place. You save time and stress when it comes to finding stuff.
Planning and organization
You’ll always be a little bit better organized if you think and plan ahead. Find the best time for you to plan your day or week and then act on those plans.
Plans sometimes need to change, I get that, but if you’ve planned ahead then it will be easier to assess the consequences of changing those plans.
As you step out of the door each day, check that you have everything you will need. Double check that you know exactly what you plan to achieve whilst you are out.
You cannot beat a good list! Writing down your list lightens the demands on your brain to remember everything. I have numerous lists on my phone. It’s usually with me and I can add or refer to the lists quickly and easily.
Whatever you are choosing to do in any one moment, be it family time, work time or me-time, then do it with intention. By this I mean concentrate on that thing with all your might.
Do your best, most focused work with no interruptions. Have real quality family time with no work creeping in at the edges. Turn your phone off or on to silent so that you can be really present.
This is the time to get really tight on prioritization. With limited time in each part of your life, you need to concentrate on the actions that will make the biggest impact on your goals.
None of us are perfect. Things will go wrong from time to time. Things will get out of kilter. Don’t beat yourself up, just know that you are doing the best you can.
I hope that this post has given you some tips on achieving the right work/life balance for you. I hope that you will feel happier with less overwhelm, feel more organized and more easily able to cope with your daily demands.
I’m Marian, cyclist , coffee and cake lover and mom to a beautiful teenage son. I blog at Let’s Get Productive where I talk all things productivity, with or without kids (but boy, it’s harder with kids!) I want you to get your best out of every day. Sound good? Take my 7 day free productivity minicourse