Going from being a full-time student to being a full-time employee has been quite the transition over the past couple of months. With graduation just around the corner, I am now beginning to see that my life is headed for some big changes. While school felt like a full-time job, classes were spread out and my schedule was far more flexible. Now that Monday through Friday is fully scheduled, I have realized that balancing work and life is feeling more important than ever. Finding time for family, friends, and relaxation is not always easy, but the good news is that it’s possible. The following article from http://topten.org/public/BI/BI103.html presents some helpful steps when it comes to finding some middle ground between work and personal life.
There is no single formula for attaining a balanced life. It is a personal decision how one combines their career, spouse/significant other, children, friends and self into an integrated whole. The key is to develop creative solutions as you approach the challenges of balancing the responsibilities and joys of your multiple roles. Some of the same skills and strategies you use at work such as planning, organizing, communicating, setting limits and delegating can be used effectively on the home-front for achieving a satisfying, fulfilling well-balanced life both personally and professionally.
1. BUILD A SUPPORT NETWORK
Ask for help and allow yourself to be helped and contributed to. Get your children involved–work together as a team. Recruit friends, family, neighbors, bosses, work colleagues, etc. and ask for their support. Create back-up and emergency plans; always have a contingency.
2. LET GO OF GUILT
Guilt is one of the greatest wastes of emotional energy. It causes you to become immobilized in the present because you are dwelling on the past. Guilt can be very debilitating. By introducing logic to help counter-balance the guilt you can stay better on course.
3. ESTABLISH LIMITS AND BOUNDARIES
Boundaries are an imaginary line of protection that you draw around yourself. They are about protecting you from other people’s actions. Determine for yourself what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior from other people. Boundaries and limits define how you take charge of your time and space and get in touch with your feelings. They express the extent of your responsibilities and power and show others what you are willing to do or accept. Without limits it’s difficult to say “no”.
4. DETERMINE YOUR OWN STANDARDS
Get rid of the notion of being a perfectionist. Wean yourself off it by making compromises–figure out where the best places to make the compromises are without short-changing yourself, your spouse, your children, your boss, etc. Live by your own standards rather than someone else’s. Standards are about YOU and refer to the behavior and actions you are willing to hold yourself to.
5. CREATE TIME FOR YOURSELF
Being a good parent, partner and professional means being good to yourself first. Use your mind to make some affirmations for yourself. Find ways to relax, relieve tension and minimize stress. Taking some time off for yourself will not only benefit you, but it will benefit your family tremendously!
6. GET ORGANIZED.
Set priorities, work smarter not harder, delegate (and really let go!). Create lists and save them for re-use. Keep a main calendar centrally located to post everyone’s activities.
7. BE FLEXIBLE
Forgive yourself when things don’t get done. Understand that with children things change at a moment’s notice. Be ready and willing to assume responsibility for any of the tasks that need to get done at any time. Never get too comfortable, because as soon as you seem to get things under control, they change! Also, realize that in order to achieve success many women have had to give up their original goals and substitute new ones with different but equal challenges. Negotiate for what you need.
8. ENJOY QUALITY FAMILY TIME
Spend quality/focused time with your family. Give them your full attention. Develop rituals you can all look forward to. Create relationships with your spouse and children that are not incidental but rather instumental to your success.
9. FIND RELIABLE CHILD CARE
Leave your kids in capable hands. Find someone you feel comfortable and confident in. If you’re feeling ambivalent about working or about leaving your child, etc. do not show it–your child (at any age) will pick right up on it. Feel proud when you’ve found someone who fits into your needs. Get involved with your child’s care providers by communicating frequently and observing interactions between caregiver and your child.
10. ACHIEVE AN INTEGRATED LIFE
Keep things in perspective. Create harmony in your life–a mixture of work, family and friends. Remember, there is no single formula for balance. It is a personal decision how one combines spouse, children and career.
About the Submitter
This piece was originally submitted by Natalie A. Gahrmann, M.A., Success Coach and Workshop/Seminar Leader, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visited on the web. Natalie A. Gahrmann wants you to know: N-R-G Coaching Associates was founded to guide
professionals who have a career plus kids in creating a life that is more balanced, fulfilling, satisfying and successful. We are dedicated to helping working parents achieve work/life mastery. To subscribe to a free weekly newsletter for working parents, send a blank email to email@example.com.