On a perfect day, the kids are well behaved, we breeze through homework, my husband comes home happy from the war office, I book another speaking engagement and sponsorship, everyone's healthy, the sun is shining, and we're feelin' groovy.
YAH OKAY!!! WHATEVER! Hasn't happened once.
If you're feeling overwhelmed and overworked, finding it more challenging than ever to juggle the demands of your job and the rest of your life, you are not alone. Work/life balance. Such an ancient topic. One we women love to vent about to whomever will listen. After dropping kids off at school and working a full day, the responsibilities still fall upon us to do the groceries, get the dry cleaning, go to Walmart, stay in touch with friends, attend a PTA meeting, prepare a tasty meal, play happy wife, happy mommy, happy employee, and all with that Mary Poppins-like smile. Life can get, well, pretty draining.
So, does real work/life balance truly exist? Well, I speak around the country on this topic, and I say no. It's more like a work/life IMbalance. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's a matter of being comfortable with, and accepting of the fact that not every day, you will be in the groove. Very rarely, does everything come together, at the perfect moment. At the end of the day, all you can do is your own personal best, and pray to the Gods that life comes together as neatly as possible. It's a matter of SURRENDERING to perfection. Being okay with imperfect. Try it once, you'll be a new woman.
If you are in the category of "frazzled and overwhelmed," please read these 8 work/life balance tips. How do you calm the buzzing bee in you? You must.
- Remember what's important in your life, and prioritize! If you look at the habits of highly successful people, amidst their frenetic paces and frenzy, they're able to maintain perspective. It's not about getting MORE done, it's about prioritizing and choosing quality over quantity. What unnecessary things can you eliminate from your life to make room for the things you enjoy. That nurture you. Things that calm you, and make you less frazzled.
- I wrote a whole blog post on Guilt. I encourage you to read it. Guilt is a major road block for you. I promise you, if you ignore your own needs out of guilt, for long enough, you are going to experience a volcanic eruption… and it ain't gonna be pretty! Stop the comparisons between what you're doing and what you think you "should be" doing. It's called realistic expectations! Go and get some!
- Something many women don't like to do…. ASK FOR HELP! From husbands, from siblings, from friends. Can you ask a girlfriend to do your carpool today so you can take a stroll for an hour, or go get a coffee and visit a bookstore? The superwoman images in the media are not serving us well. Ask for help when you can. Don't be afraid!
- Move your behind! It's difficult to exercise when you have a jam-packed schedule, but study after study demonstrate the positive effects that exercise have on your energy level, physical health and mental psyche. I credit much of my ability to multi-task and perform at high levels due to the gym.
- Physically pencil-in downtime into your schedule. Yes, I'm serious. Get out your IPhone, Blackberry, Android, whatever, and schedule in time with family and friends, and well as activities you enjoy doing that relax and recharge you. It should be something that feeds your soul- a movie, dinner with a girlfriend, a massage, a manicure, SEX. Whatever.
- Drop those activities that suck your time and energy. Life is short, and you should be spending time on activities that enhance your personal life or career. If you enjoy volunteering, but it's zapping you of your time and energy, cut back, or cut it out. Not forever. For now.
- Learn proper time-management skills. This helps greatly with the frazzled factor. Try not to procrastinate. When you take too much upon yourself, and then leave it for the last minute, the anxiety builds, and the bee starts buzzing around! Keep a journal, diary or to-do list, and manage it daily. Do a couple of tasks each day, instead of leaving them all for one day. Things will become a lot less overwhelming.
- Get Organized! You will feel lighter, and much less frazzled if you are ORGANIZED. Programs like Microsoft OneNote are lifesavers. I recently started using it and it is like my brain and life in one neatly organized program. Everything you need for your life and work are all easily accessible, decreasing time-waste, and increasing efficiency. I even inputted my recipes! If you haven't heard of what OneNote can do for your life, watch this video.