Do you believe you have a good work/life balance? What does that even look like?
I’ve never been good at work/life balance. When I was at university the scales were very much weighted in favour of life, and when I was working the scales were weighted in favour of work. It’s one of the reasons I’ve been out of the workforce for over 2 years now. I was giving all my energy and motivation to my job and that left me with nothing for my family.
Over the past couple of months, the “work” part of life has been getting increasingly busy. Some days, I’m guilty of plonking the kids in front of the TV in order to blog or build a mud kitchen.
And that doesn’t take into account the “admin” part of life. The inescapable bits and pieces that have to happen for the rest of life to run smoothly. I’m talking the never-ending pile of laundry, housework, cooking dinner, weeding and mowing lawns. This is definitely the part of life that gets neglected when I get busy. If you’ve been to my house recently you’ll notice there’s always toothpaste smeared on the basin. I hate looking like I don’t have it all together, but it just feels so futile wiping it off only to have it reappear next time the kids brush their teeth.
So, how do I do achieve work/life balance? I’ve been doing two things lately to help ensure I’m giving each part of my life the time it deserves.
Number 1: Get up early. I’m a sleeper. I love sleep and I love my bed. Ian willingly gets the kids dressed and breakfasted in the mornings so I could roll out of bed at 7.30 and still get the kids where they’re supposed to be for the day. Instead, I get up at 6am. This is when the kids wake so I’m out of bed then too. That gives me an hour to take it slow, having coffee, playing Gardenscapes and actually eating breakfast (another one of those things that gets neglected when I get busy).
Number 2: Schedule, schedule, schedule. There is not a minute of my day from 6am to 6pm, that’s not scheduled. I schedule my breakfast and lunch, the school drop-offs, the groceries, the cleaning, the appointments. Then I see what’s left. I schedule specific work tasks and I schedule trips to the park and the pool. This is what I have to do to keep the house, the family and my work running smoothly. I sit down on a Sunday night and I meal plan for the week and I do my schedule. This is usually when I’m texting friends making plans with them for the week.
This Saturday I’m going to be building a new product. This Sunday we’re having a family outing with friends. This is how I balance work and life… I know the kids will be neglected by me on Saturday, but they have me for the entirety of Sunday.
And it’s working. The house is clean, my work’s getting done, I’m spending real quality time with the kids. And the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day is unbelievable! This is what I need to get shit done… it’s not going to work for everyone. But, if you’re feeling like your life is out of balance, maybe give it a try?