Life is stressful. Work is stressful. And we have to balance it all. I’ve learned a few things over the years that have really helped me with the work-life balance thing, so I thought I would share.
One of the greatest sources of stress and feeling like you can’t find the right balance in your work and personal life is disorganization. Our plates are full between work and home life, so it’s no wonder it can get overwhelming at times and one side or the other ends up getting the short stick. But getting yourself organized and learning how to plan your time can be a lifesaver.
I’ve always been one of those people who gives my all to whatever I am doing. Like many, I strive for perfection, and I want people to like me. I realized after 3 kids, a husband, a house, and a job, I needed to get organized if I wanted to feel successful. I used to be a big fan of lists. If I put it down on paper, I could rest easier that not only would I get it done, I would not forget about it if I got busy with something else. I still use lists, but now they are in ColorNote on my phone. As soon as someone at home says they need something, or I remember something I need to get done, boom it’s on a list. I have a Food Shopping list, a Home Depot list and a Do Now list. That’s for miscellaneous non-urgent things that don’t fall onto any of the other lists. When I’m out and about and have a few extra minutes to spare, I look at that list and see what I can “Do Now.” You would be amazed by how much stress you can relieve just by knowing it’s on a list somewhere.
I use a similar technique for work, except there I use Outlook. I use the heck out of the calendar and reminders. And I use the same, one calendar for work and life because often they intersect. If I know I have something going on in my personal life at night, I make sure I put a reminder in my calendar to finish up early enough to get there on time. Likewise, if I have a work event after hours, having it on my personal calendar avoids those unintentional conflicts and the uncomfortable decision of choosing who you will disappoint. If you have to share your calendar at work, just use the privacy function for your personal stuff. Everything goes into the Outlook calendar with a reminder and I am committed to never dismissing something unless it is complete or I have rescheduled it.
When you think about it, most of our stress in balancing our life with our job comes from us being afraid we are going to forget something or not have enough time to fulfill our commitments and responsibilities. Using the calendar religiously will help you see where and when you have time to get things done. Instead of worrying if you will get it done, schedule it for a specific time on a specific day. If you are good at managing your calendar, you will feel more confident that you do indeed have time to get it all done. Before long, you will become an expert at getting across that work/life tightrope with little or no missteps!
Thoughts…….. Contact me at abbe@TECResourceCenter.com
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