Ah, work-life balance is it real? Can you really juggle a full-time job and family life and still maintain your sanity?
Is there even such a thing as work-life balance? Or do you have to put all your time and energy into one while barely surviving in the other?
Is Work-Life Balance Achievable?
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As a full time working mom with a very demanding career, I have found a few tips to make juggling my career and my job as a mom and wife just a little bit easier.
In this post, I have searched the internet to find the best work-life balance tips to help you achieve balance and maintain your sanity.
Don’t start new tasks at the end of the day.
It’s 4 pm you open an email and see a task you need to complete this week. Do you start it now? I have worked with far too many people who would say yes and jump right in. Not me. I would assess how long this task would take and decide if it is something I can complete by the time I clock out for the day. If not it can wait until the morning.
Multitasking. Is it helpful?
Michelle from Making Sense of Cents would argue no and suggests that you stop multitasking. Some are very good at multitasking. I used to think I was the queen of multitasking. But one day I realized I was wasting more time switching between tasks and doing a half-assed job. In Michelle’s post, she mentions that a person can waste up to 25 minutes switching from task to task. So much for saving time. Have you ever noticed that you really don’t get much done when you are watching Netflix while working…
Yes, I am guilty of this too and Michelle suggests not working while watching TV or on the phone or even on facebook. While you think you are multitasking, really take a look at how much you are actually accomplishing while “multitasking” versus when you are focused on one task at a time.
In order to have a good work-life balance, you have to take time for family. Jordan from Fun Cheap or Free recommends setting aside time for one on one time with kids and your spouse. With her family, she sets aside a day for her older kids where they receive special privileges during that day. She also schedules out 15 minutes per day to spend with each kid alone or with her husband.
In our home, we set aside 10 minutes 1 to 2 times each day per kid where we do one activity of their choice – coloring, playing with cars or trains or Barbies. Tonight I helped my 5-year-old write a letter to her friend who recently moved away. Our special time usually happens at the same time each day so the kids know when their “special time” is. And trust me they will remind us if we forget. But it is a great way to connect with our child one one one without the distraction of a sibling. My husband and I usually spend most of our evenings in the office working but we designate one day a week where we have a date night in or out.
Invest in a good planner
Paula from I’m Busy Being Awesome, like me plans her day out. She suggests using or creating a planner, like the one she has in her store which is fully customizable. The layout she created allows you to view your weekly goals, to-do list, and appointments. It is perfect for those who, like me, are busy and need a simple to use planner.
If you have been following me you know I love a good planner and live by mine religiously. I currently use the Day Designer planner which is a daily planner and I find this to be the most helpful in blocking out my work schedule, family time and my to-do list. I am a sucker for to-do lists. Something about checking that box once a task is complete.
Prioritize your tasks
One thing I love about the Day Designer planner is it has a section at the top for your top 3 tasks. So I prioritize my day and the top 3 tasks are what I absolutely want to compete for the day.
Deanna from Our Passion Works discusses how she uses the Buffet method. I have never heard of this term but love the concept. So Warren Buffet (hence the name) writes all his tasks on a sheet of paper, circles the top 3 to add to a planner and throws the rest away. This way you are focusing on your top 3 tasks only. This is a great way to ensure you stay on task and get the important tasks completed. My to-do list can get pretty long and I can get lost in trying to complete everything on the list. This will take away from my family time which doesn’t really help in creating work-life balance.
Work-life balance is achievable if you have goals and limitations in place. Prioritizing your work schedule and understanding that not everything can and needs to be done right away will allow you to set boundaries, plan out your day and make time for yourself, your family and your friends.
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Rebecca Branham says
I always tell my clients to prioritize. The most important things and hard things will get down if you just do them first. Otherwise, you’ll find you wasting your whole day doing random BS just to avoid doing that one thing.
I feel that it is as long as you use boundaries. Just like you said about getting an email at 4pm. It can wait till the next day.
Nicole Kauffman says
Awesome tips!! I definitely have to plan my day out or I find that I’m not even half as productive! And I really need to stop multi-tasking!
Kelly Bolen says
My hubby and I have owned a business for 20 years. It wasn’t until after 15 years of being in business that I realized we did not have a good work balance. I guess figuring it out later, was better than not at all!
Jennifer Morrison says
A great planner is so important! It makes such a huge difference in life balance. Also love your tip on signing off.
I need to get better at stopping work at a certain time… I tend to go up until dinner time! YIKES