WITI PERSONAL GROWTH
10 Tips to Balance Your Life
Balancing work and life is one of the most challenging issues working women face. In fact, 90% of American mothers report work-family conflict (according to a Center for American Progress report). The demands of work and family can be overwhelming.
Here are 10 tips to help you find the balance that's best for you.
1. Keep a time log. Track everything you do and the time spent on each activity for one week. Include work-related and non-work related activities, such as meetings, projects, commute time, household chores, time with family or friends, etc. Take a look at how you're spending your time. Decide what's necessary and satisfies you the most. Then determine what can be cut out.
2. Carve out time for important activities. Schedule time on your calendar for your most important activities - work or non-work related. If you have an important project that's due at the end of the week, block out time on your calendar to work on it. Treat it as a meeting. If you and your spouse rarely have time together, then schedule a date night once a week.
3. Set boundaries. Be able to say "no" to the unimportant things. Cut out activities that are unnecessary. When you receive a request that will put you into overload, tactfully say "no", or negotiate the timeline or the deadline of the project to make it more manageable.
4. Manage your time. Use a daily "to-do" list, and prioritize your list. Then tackle the "A" priority items first. Manage interruptions and distractions at work. Organize household tasks efficiently. Keep a family calendar of important dates.
5. Take advantage of your options. Find out if your employer offers flex hours, a compressed work week, job-sharing or telecommuting for your position. The flexibility may relieve some of the stress and free up some time.
6. Rethink your cleaning standards. An unmade bed or a sink of dirty dishes won't impact the quality of your life. Do what needs to be done and let the rest go. If you can afford it, hire a housekeeper!
7. Take time for yourself. Set aside time each day for an activity that you enjoy, such as walking the dog, reading a novel, or working out. Unwind after a hectic workday by practicing yoga, taking a bath, or listening to soothing music.
8. Get enough sleep. There's nothing as stressful as working when you're sleep-deprived. Not only is your productivity affected, but you also make costly mistakes.
9. Build your support network. Talk with a trusted friend or co-worker during times of stress or hardship. Ensure you have friends or relatives who can assist you when you have to work overtime or travel for your job.
10. Fight the guilt. Remember, having a family and a job is okay. Don't feel like you need to live up to the standards of your mom who may have been a stay-at-home mom.
Now you have some suggestions for balancing work and the rest of your life. Why not take the next step and give these suggestions a try?
Kathleen Barton is a keynote speaker, workshop presenter, and life coach specializing in life purpose, career success, and work-life balance. She is the author of Passport to Priorities: Your Roadmap to Balanced Living and Finding Your Purpose and Passion in Life. Kathleen can be reached at YourLifeBalanceCoach.com.