The daily grind of packing lunches, carpool lines, meetings, emails, phone calls has many of us feeling like we can't catch our breath. Not to mention, we may be dealing with longer workdays, shorter vacations and back-to-back weekend obligations.
Here are some ways to find that ever-elusive work and life balance.
Let It Go
If you have always been an overachiever, you may find that it can become more difficult as you get older. According to Forbes.com, “As you climb the ladder at work and as your family grows your responsibilities mushroom.”
While it is important to be accountable, you are not infallible. You need to give yourself a break if you miss crossing a “t” or dotting an “i”! Let go of the guilt, and focus on what you were able to achieve. I find that too much dwelling leads to less productivity.
Shut It Down
We are constantly available or on the clock, thanks to technology. Yes, I am overwhelmingly guilty of emailing while simultaneously pushing my toddler on a swing. I swore last week that a lady driving by was swearing at me for texting while pushing a stroller.
Did I also mention, my son was also on the sidewalk next to me, riding his bike? He had a helmet on and the baby was properly buckled, so I am not all that bad. But the truth of the matter is, kid time should be kid time!
Parents.com suggests “Be disciplined and set time limits when checking email or making phone calls, things you can do when the kids are sleeping. Try to avoid multitasking, especially when spending time with your children.”
And don’t forget about husband time! Parents.com has some advice for this too. “Reduce TV watching to once a week to maximize time with your partner during the evenings.”
Whether it is a mid-morning Starbucks run, Pilates at noon, or a kid’s soccer practice at 4 o’clock, be open about your needs for a more flexible schedule if your job allows.
According to Entrepreneur.com. “Whatever your sweet spot is you need to find it and be transparent about it. Employees need to have an open dialogue with their managers and managers need to understand what works and what is possible. Different jobs require different approaches, but everyone can benefit from having an open and honest conversation about what balance means.”
Ask yourself questions like — what are the things only I can do well? Farm out chores such as house cleaning, mowing the lawn, etc. Set your priorities by asking, “What is important right now?”
Build In Overflow
This is one of my tricks. I know last-minute things are going to come up, that will prevent me from finishing some projects. I build in some overflow time for myself. I also sometimes take an hour or two over the weekend while the kids are sleeping to tidy up any loose ends.
You can do this for a half-hour each day, or save it for Friday afternoon to set yourself up for the next week.
“6 Tips for Work Life Balance – Forbes.com.” Forbes Magazine. Web 29 March 2015.
“5 Secrets to Achieving and Maintaining Work-Life Balance – Entrepreneur.com.” Web 29 March 2015.
“How to Achieve Work Life Balance in 5 Steps – Time.com.” Time. Web 29 March 2015.
“Ten Ways Parents Can Balance Work and Life – Parents.com.” Web 29 March 2015.
Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist and Publicist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.
Joanne's fitness plans, recipes and lifestyle advice are available globally on her website http://www.happiwoman.com/ She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband and children, where she runs her fitness and publicity business, JSK PR, http://www.jskpr.com/
Reviewed March 30, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith