“Pick up the kids from school” “Meet this deadline at work”, “Get home and make dinner”, “Wake up and answer emails!” Does this sound familiar? The crazy, busy schedule of everyday life can make us (me) feel tired and burnt out.
I know this is me every day. From running a few different businesses to being a mom and wife each day looks a little bit different and the demands seem almost endless. To overcome this feeling of stress due to an overwhelming schedule, I decided to focus on a work-life balance between work and spending time with my family. But I quickly realized that striving to maintain balance was going to make things more stressful. So, I decided to give up on this idea of the perfect “work-life” balance. It caused me SO MUCH stress. But to my
I was trying to achieve the balance that others were telling me I should have but the one that worked best for me and my family.
If you’re struggling with a work-life balance or just an overwhelming schedule, you’re in the right place.
What is ‘Work-Life’ Balance?
You might be asking, “What even is work-life balance?” I’m glad you asked. Work-life balance is this idealized goal that you are spending an equal amount of time at work as you are with other aspects of your life. For some that can include spending time with your family, doing hobbies you love, traveling, etc. For me, it was a goal of spending an equal amount of time at work (which I love!!) and spending time with my husband and son (which I also love!!) I wanted to be as involved as I could in each aspect of my life every day of the week, and give each area equal amount of attention. I quickly realized that was easier said than done. It wasn’t until I had spent a lot of time and energy stressing about this unachievable perfect balance, that I realized it was time to reevaluate my schedule and strategy.
Life Before and After Giving Up the ‘Work-Life’ Balance
I used to spend so much time and energy analyzing my day and seeing how many personal and work “to-dos” I could check off. But by the end of the day I never felt like I spent enough time at home with Diego and Dustin or worked productively enough. And let me tell you, the mom guilt was real! When I was at work, I was feeling guilty for not being with Diego, but then when I was at home, I felt guilty for not working more! Talk about an endless cycle!
Once I let go of this idealized goal, my life became WAY less stressful. Now I focus on three main priorities: my family, work, self-care. These are my main priorities and I make sure I allocate a little bit of time a day to each one and know when to say no to things that don’t align with those priorities. But sometimes that doesn’t happen, and that’s ok! I’ve become totally flexible to some days dedicating more time to one priority than the other. I know that if I work really long hours one day, maybe the next day I will take a half-day off to be with my family. You may want to dedicate every morning to work and then every evening to family, and that’s ok! The key here is that balance is different for everyone.
Why Did I Let Go of the ‘Work-Life’ Balance?
This is much easier said than done. It’s a work in progress, but allowing myself to let go of this ideal allowed me to not live in fear or critique of myself. Constantly judging and critiquing myself doesn’t do myself good nor does it do good to those around me. I’m constantly trying to better myself and I love learning productivity tips. But at the end of the day life is unexpected and our balance changes day by day. Letting go of that standard of equilibrium is what will allow me to feel and be happy, I have learned to be forgiving and kind with myself.
3 Time Managment Tips
Even though I don’t strive for a perfect work-life balance, that doesn’t mean I don’t work to manage my time well, you have to be disciplined to make the most out of your day. In fact, this is still very important to me as I focus on family, work, and self-care! So, here are my top 3 Time Management Tips.
Schedule Everything in Google Calendar – Google Calendar is my life savior. It keeps all of my days organized, from meetings to deadlines, to what days I have to pick up Diego. I literally schedule everything, even when I eat lunch haha! If it’s not on the calendar
Wake Up Early – In order to make sure I am able to get done everything I need to, I wake up at 4 am every morning. I do this because at this time the house is super quiet, everyone is still asleep, and I can focus on answering emails before the busy day begins. This time is sacred to me and in turn becomes a bit of my self care, when I can sip on my matcha in the quiet. Now, this might be too early for you! If
Educate Yourself! – There are so many great podcasts and books about time management! Hearing about how others manage their time can help you find what works best for you! Here a few:
- “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss
- “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen
- “The Productivity Project” by Chris Bailey
- “Fix Your Broken To-Do List with Tonya Dalton” by Jeff Sanders: Jeff Sanders has a Podcast called “The Five AM Miracle“. In this episode, he interviews Tonya Dalton a productivity expert. Tonya explains that being productive involves focusing on your priorities!
- “The Goal Digger Podcast” by Jenna Kutcher and “The Influencer Podcast” by Julie Solomon. Even though these aren’t strictly time management focused, they share business knowledge that keeps me inspired and my business priorities on track.
- Forbes features a great list of 20 time management tips in this article! One that I particularly like is creating “buffer-time” in between the things you have to do during the day!
- This article from Mind Body Green gives 6 tips to help you manage your time well! What I took away from this article is asking for help when you need it!
- I also shared a few tips on managing time on a previous blog post for all you momprenuers our there!
Remember, finding what works for you is the most important thing. Balance looks different for everyone! What are you time management tips? Share in the comments below!