Work/Life Balance. It Can be Done!
You spend a great deal of time trying to balance your chequebook, but have you considered other areas of balance in your life? Do you consider work/life balance a lofty ideal (something that you’d love to have, but seems like a faraway dream)?
Work/life balance is something that can (and should be) achieved but it takes strength, determination and scheduling.
Decide What Matters
It sounds obvious. We all know what matters in our lives. However, when you break out and allocate time spent on these items, they don’t always match up.
Sit down and figure out what matters- specifically. Break it down. For instance, don’t just say time with family, list the various time commitments and tasks associated. Look at your activities from a need and want point of view as well.
Limit yourself to your top three (most likely, under broad sub-headings, kids, work, me).
Do the Math
Look at the hours you have in a day and how they are currently allocated (i.e. 6-7, me time, 7-8, family time, 8-6 work time, 6-9 family time, 9-11 me time). Does the schedule, as it appears, have balance? When you lay it out in front of you, it makes imbalances more obvious.
Shift the hours to reflect the reality of your schedule (do you have a long commute? Are most of your evenings taken up with after school activities? Do you frequently work late?).
Guard Your Me Time
Ask any parent; the very first thing to go when a time struggle ensues is me time. Guard your “me” time and don’t feel guilty about it. Frankly, it is the glue the seams the work/life balance thing together. Make sure to keep in touch with friends, and carve out time to see them too. It matters!
Negotiate if you have to as well. For instance, if it is unrealistic to include me time daily, spread it out over the week.
One of the key components to work/life balance is to embrace healthy living as well. It is essential when carving out your schedule to include exercise as part of your routine at least four or five times a week.
Exercise does not have to be a hard-core workout at the gym either. It can be an after-school game of tag with the family or going for a stroll with your friends. The beauty from a scheduling point of view is exercise crosses over “categories” and will contribute to your energy to get everything else done!
Have you heard the news? You don’t have to do everything yourself! Enlist help from the kids with the chores (even the young ones!) and get help from your partner with errands.
Spreading around household demands promotes responsibility and means that there is more time to dedicate to “fun” activities for everyone. Blocking time off during the weekends can be a more efficient way to do these as well.