As a working professional I have always tried, to the best of my ability, to maintain a healthy work/life balance. Happiness is important to me. My marriage is important to me. My health is important to me. My family is important to me. My career is important to me. With all these things being important it is imperative that I come up with ways to ensure I am getting the most out of them all. Are there compromises made along the way? Of course! But I must say keeping to the strategies below have allowed for a balance that works for me and my family. My hope is that more women recognize they too CAN achieve that same balance.
Set realistic expectations
This seems obvious enough right? Well it isn’t. When scheduling your week, be realistic with how much you are hoping to accomplish. You can always add more to your plate if the time permits but you will always set yourself up for failure if you operate from a place of constantly over extending yourself and not getting to what you planned.
Get comfortable with guilt and let it go
While I am at the office, I often find myself wishing I was on a field trip with my girls or volunteering at their school. I learned to let go of thinking about the things to do (while I have free time), during the times I do not have free time. Instead, I make sure to be dialed into the business with laser focus so I can get my work accomplished and get home to spend the evening connecting with my kids and being present. Our kids need a positive successful working mom role model, so rest assured the message being delivered is a positive one vs. the resentment we think they harbor toward us.
One of the best ways to achieve balance is to take time for yourself and don’t apologize for it. Schedule a manicure/pedicure, massage or fitness class as you would a business meeting. They are just as important and contribute to your overall happiness which is directly related to your production—at home and in the office. It is well worth it so schedule away!
Stick to your schedule the best you can
Work will always be there. I had to come to terms with the fact that I could work 24/7 and still feel there is more work to do. Know when to walk away and pick up where you left off the next morning. I am not suggesting leaving a deadline project left undone but if it’s not time sensitive and can wait, let it wait. You will be more successful with a fresher pair of eyes on it the next morning.
Meditate or find your place to ‘power down’
I know I know, I have heard it a million times; meditation isn’t for you. I thought the same thing. Sitting still for any length of time didn’t appeal to me to me either. It wasn’t until I tried it and was consistent with it that I saw the benefit. It truly has been a savior for me. I find a place where I will be free of interruptions and sit for 20 minutes. It is often the only time during the day that I am alone and truly not being called upon as a mom, wife, friend, boss, colleague, etc. It is a time when I sit still and attempt to let my mind rest. We ask so much of our minds and body every day that the rest is so necessary. The benefits that come from it are amazing and are essential to my balance in life. It provides me a clearer mind, calmer disposition and greater tolerance to things. Sound good? Try it!