Is there such a thing?
Where does this elusive animal actually live?
Over the years, I have been asked by both women and men how to create a balance between work, family responsibilities, and personal time.
Women in particular often struggle with this issue – particularly women with children.
If you work outside the home or work from home, you have the pressures of a regular job, then add on top of that running a household, homework, laundry, taking everyone to appointments, etc.
How do you find time to even sleep let alone take time for yourself?
If you are a domestic goddess, you have all the usual household tasks, but chances are you are running on very little sleep, and you are busy running after little ones.
Regardless what your job is, finding that balance is key to your sanity and overall health and well-being.
I have a different approach.
In the past, I was the highly stressed over committed woman. I felt like I had to do it all. I admit, I still have tendencies (and I do fall off the wagon once in a while). But I also can recognize the symptoms now much faster and then do something about it.
Part of taking control of your life is taking control of your schedule.
The number one principle is TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FIRST!
“Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals,
and values are in balance.” ~Brian Tracy
That’s right. Take care of your needs first.
It sounds selfish but really it isn’t. If you make sure that you are fed, well rested, fit, and happy, then you are better equipped to do all the superhero tasks you need to do.
“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s a necessity.” ~Mandy Hale
I make sure that I exercise regularly and I have an early bed time. I usually get at least eight hours or more of sleep a night. I schedule out my day with MUST do tasks. I leave lots of time for emergencies, ask for help if I need it, and let go of non-essentials. I also schedule all my breaks FIRST including vacations and down time.
You can do that too. It isn’t difficult. It just takes practice. Your mental health and family will thank you.
Yes, there will still be running around. Yes, you may still be a taxi or short order cook. But it will be YOUR decision and your schedule. You won’t be at the mercy of what everyone else wants and thinks you should do.
Get rid of the “shoulds” and “have tos”.
Take charge of your schedule and environment by deciding what is most important. Take at least 20 minutes each day to relax and de-clutter your brain. I take a 20 minute ‘nap’ most days in the late afternoon to refocus myself for the evening and to relax. It makes all the difference, believe me.
The second important principle for finding balance is FOCUS.
Whatever task you are doing—working, laundry, driving, shopping—focus on that. Do not think about the hundred other things you have to do that day. Just focus on the one thing you are doing and find a way to enjoy it.
If you are folding laundry, be thankful you have arms to help you (I have a laundry folding playlist that gets me dancing as I fold). If you are driving a child to hockey, be grateful for the time you get to spend together.
Live in the moment with passion and gratitude and you will be amazed at how much your stress level decreases.
Ultimately, it is your choice. Take charge of your schedule and suddenly that elusive work/life balance becomes so much easier.
If you need help figuring out your ideal schedule, let us know. A coach can help.