How to balance it all is a very frequent question I hear working moms asking. As we are entering a new year and a new decade let’s start thinking about some changes we can make in the way we manage our time to find a better balance. Let’s make 2020 the year of balance.
So where do we even start?
DECIDE WHAT ‘BALANCE IT ALL’ MEANS TO YOU
We all want to have it all! I mean, social media images are telling us that we can be superwomen who get everything done with a smile on our faces.
I think at this point we know that doing it all is a myth.
Now let me clarify that. We CAN have everything we want – just not at the same time!
If you want to serve your family a home cooked gourmet dinner every night then you probably cannot have a job that will require you to travel for work a couple of times a month. You simply cannot be in two places at the same time.
The same way as you probably should postpone your dream of starting your side business when you just accepted a dream position of a CEO in a fast paced company. Yes, you can still fulfill both of those dreams – just not at the same time. Is it possible? Sure! But how stressful do you think you will be trying to do both of those things at the same time?
Decide what things are most important to you in the stage of life you are in right now. Think about all the things that you are trying to balance. Which ones are your priorities?
What if everything feels out of balance and I don’t know where to start?
If you are in a place where you simply feel like everything is out of balance, then I recommend checking out Life Balance Workbook. It has an assessment that you can take to determine what area of your life you are most dissatisfied with to help you decide where you need to dedicate additional time. This workbook will also help you work through all the steps described in this blog post.
IF YOU WANT TO BALANCE IT ALL YOU HAVE TO CHANGE YOUR MINDSET ABOUT BALANCE
If you think that there is a formula about how much time to spend on work, and how much time to spend on household responsibilities, and then on family time – I’m sorry to tell you but it does not exist!
We are all so unique that it is impossible to have one formula to fit all of our needs and desires when it comes to balancing it all. One of the things that you might desire is spending all day Sunday outdoors playing with your kids and exploring the local hiking trails. While to another person spending that much time on family activities would not work. They prefer spending some time each day of the week but having Sunday afternoon to themselves where they can read a good book and relax.
Balancing it all means that you cannot compare your balance to the one of other moms. Don’t get hanged up of what types of activities other moms are doing with their kids. Because that is irrelevant. And I recently heard a great discussion about this particular topic on Boss Mom podcast.
Remember that what fills your cup will not fill mine! And that is PERFECTLY OK!
Change your mindset and stop comparing my life balance to yours. Just because mine is different doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with yours. As long as you are happy – nothing else matters.
ELIMINATE THE EMPTY CALORIES FROM YOUR PLATE OF RESPONSIBILITIES
We all have empty calories on our plates of responsibilities! When it comes to food, empty calories are things that we consume that don’t provide us with any nutritional value. In the case of responsibilities, those are things that will keep us busy but don’t bring us any closer to achieving our goals and dreams. They don’t bring us any closer to achieving that life balance that we want.
We dedicate a lot of time and energy to activities that don’t really matter to us. And then we don’t have enough time left over for the things we want to do.
Those are the things that we do because other people want us to do them. Those are the things that we don’t really care for, but feel pressured to do. And it will be different things to different people. For you it might be having a two course dinner every night because that has been how dinners looked like when you were a kid. But you really don’t care for it and would be perfectly fine just if you just have one course meal.
Your empty calories might be ironing clothes, taking an active role in all school events, keeping a spotless house, or going to play dates with your kids every single weekend. If it does not energize you and help you work on your priorities – take them off your plate!
RELATED: Do You Have Too Much on Your Plate?
BALANCING IT ALL MEANS FINDING MORE TIME FOR THE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO
Have you ever said that you can’t do something because you don’t have time? Yes me too. But then I started realizing that I don’t have time because I choose to use it differently. I either use it to fulfill the priorities of other people or I simply waste it (usually without even realizing it).
We already talked about eliminating the empty calories. That is one huge time saver. But we also tend to waste a lot of time – and we need to figure out where that is.
And the most effective way to do that is to track your time. Take a week to track everything that you are doing. Will it be time consuming? Yes! Will it be annoying and tedious? Absolutely. BUT it will also be very effective in showing you where exactly you have gaps of time that you can use differently.
You can track your time on a piece of paper, spreadsheet, or you can use the section of the Life Balance Workbook.
You will find that you two types of things. The first ones are activities that waste your time. These would be things like extended phone usage, scrolling mindlessly through your social media, or watching hours of TV. And the second one is it will reveal what types of activities are taking a lot of your time. Maybe you will discover that you absolutely take forever to get out of the house in the morning because it’s an absolute chaos in your house at that time.
Discovering those things will help you implement a few improvements to get more time back into your day for the things that you love to do. And that will help you balance your life better.
RELATED: 10 Biggest Time Wasters
GO DO YOUR THING
Now that you have found some extra time in your day – go do you thing. You know what is important so start doing more of it. Set some specific goals for yourself and write down what you need to do in order to get there.
Remember that life balance is an ongoing process. You will have to adjust as you move forwards. As you go through different changes in your life such as workload, schedule, kids activities, or dietary changes you will have to adjust your priorities and set some new goals.
But one thing will always remain the same. You are creating a life balance that works for you and your family. It is your version of balance.
Is balance part of your goals for 2020?
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