Work-Life balance is a juggling act. As one of the biggest challenges women face, we are bombarded with people pulling us in opposing directions. We may fill the role of working professional, event coordinator, wife, mom, financial planner etc. The list is endless.
How do we balance our time? When do we spend time with our family? And how do we keep time for ourselves?
Balancing life’s chaos can feel like walking on a tightrope. But family roles are changing. As the dynamics develop, each relationship runs their household differently. Here are six ways to help keep your work-life balance in check.
1. Don’t do Everything
At home, women are expected to maneuver many tasks. Some of them may include: cooking dinner, cleaning the house and working a 9 to 5 job. We only get 24 hours a day.
You owe it to yourself to consider your day-to-day activities. Are you cooking out of obligation? Do you enjoy cooking dinner? Over-commitment does not help anyone. If you wish you were doing something, don’t be afraid to try it.
Societal norms are evolving. Talk with your partner and discuss their expectations. You can’t do it all and you shouldn’t have to. Consider splitting household tasks or dividing them by the individual’s interest. Does he enjoy cooking or do you both love going out? Find what works best for you.
2. Consider the Plan
Planning is a demanding and sometimes an impossible task. If you plan too much or too little, it can create unintended consequences. With hectic schedules, it’s important to find a way to think ahead and predict the unexpected. You may not want to cancel plans or disappoint a friend, but life has a way of taking over.
Half the battle is knowing how much time you have. Don’t schedule five activities after a full day’s work at the office. Think about you. What do you want out of your time? Fill your time with the activities and people you value the most.
What about your partner? Plan time for the two of you. Choose a day once a month to have dinner or go see a movie together. You and your partner should decide what you will enjoy most. The key to planning a future you want is to choose your time wisely.
3. Separate Home and Work Life
You’re having a family dinner when you get a notification from your email box. Reading the text, you notice it’s an urgent email from a client. You excuse yourself from dinner to take care of the situation. Before you know it, you’ve been working all evening.
There is nothing wrong with having a work phone, but time with the family and work should stay separate.
Your boss may expect you to respond even at home. Or perhaps, your expectations of yourself are higher than your bosses. Determine what your company expects of you. If you need to get work done late, don’t take your work home. Instead, stay late at work. It can help to turn off notifications for your work email. Time at home should be for you, your family, and relaxation.
4. Don’t Forget You
Women can spend so much time taking care of others we forget about ourselves. According to a research study by the Henry J Kaiser Foundation women and family life, 81% of women took their kids to doctor’s appointments. In addition, 39% of women took sole responsibility for a sick child as opposed to 3% of men.
We burden the responsibility of taking care of our families, we often don’t have time for ourselves. You deserve time off to understand what makes you happy. You have permission to let your partner take care of the household now and again. It does not make you selfish to take a break.
Find time to fill your appetite for exotic locales, stylish cuisine, or a relaxing massage. Of course, you can’t do anything that is financially unrealistic or dangerous, but your health and well-being are important. You only live once, you might as well make the best of it.
5. Do not Compare Yourself to Others
Comparing myself to others used to be my pastime. Watching my co-workers in envy, I wished I was getting that promotion or leadership role. I felt like I was standing still. When I started looking to improve myself, I became confident in my skills and abilities.
No matter what field you are in, someone is considered better than you. It’s easy to wish you had better pay or a Tesla. There will always be people that have more money.
Instead of wishing, start taking your life into your hands. Create a plan to save money for the Tesla or track your accomplishments at work in a document. Invest in yourself and before you know it, you will have everything you wished for.
6. You Can’t Control Everything
You can’t control the bad events. Everyone experiences an unforeseen spell of difficulty. The trick is to get through life’s complications wiser and smarter. There’s a famous saying by the Philosopher Epictetus, “It is not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”
When your life is in shambles, remember you’re not alone. Talk with your friends or family members about the situation. You may learn they have shared similar experiences to your own.
Whether your car was totaled or you’re running low on money, there will be better days ahead. The best way to handle them is to learn from them and grow.
Women across the country handle life’s demands big and small, but there are simple ways you can keep your work-life balance.
Remember that you don’t have to do it all. Consider your plan and break it when you need too. Leave time to yourself, but don’t try to control everything. Keep your work and home life separate so you can enjoy your free time.
By taking even some of these steps, you reap the rewards for your work and home life. You don’t have to be rich or organized. Once you start discussing your goals your loved ones, it’s amazing how they can come to life.