The idea of “balance” is something that a lot of us throw around & although I think we can all admit that it’s a pretty hopeless goal I still think aiming for a bit more balance in our lives is a good thing. And the biggest struggle is that line between work & the rest of your life. When thinking about this idea of a work-life balance I’ve realized that I’ve learned a huge lesson in managing my time since having my daughter & its a fairly simple idea that is hard to stick with. For me, I arrived at this by circumstance (more on that below) but I think if you do this intentionally you can start to get that balance a little more. So what is this wonderful trick? Scheduling & sticking to time limits.
By no means earth shattering but think of it: how often would previous generations bring work home? Before the invention of computers it was a much rarer occasion. I’m not saying it never happened but it made it more difficult to spend your evenings working without your eyes glued to a laptop or iPhone or Blackberry. All this technology has made it harder for us to put away our careers & focus on the other aspects of our lives.
For me the key has been getting all my work done before I leave for the day, staying until I must pick Adelyn up from daycare (I pick her up at 4pm, since we’re all on a teacher schedule). I have to make sure to get the majority of my grading & lesson planning done during my work day because it simply just doesn’t get done at home. By the time she’s in bed I’m exhausted & anything I bring home just sits there. So this scheduling thing has really been something that was forced upon me & I’ve had to adapt to, but really it works. Going back to basics is sometimes the best plan.
Setting your own time constraints & sticking to them is the key. For me, daycare closes at 4 but if you don’t have a strict deadline like that set a reasonable time to quit the day by. Even if you bring work home, say you’ll put it away by 7pm or something & stick to it. By abiding by the deadline you can now spend the rest of your evening with loved ones, friends, Scandal – whatever it is to give yourself a little break & spend time living your non-work life. Without any guilt.
You’ll also find you’re more productive because you now have a stricter time frame to get work done. I check Facebook & blogs & all sorts of distractions much less at work because I see that pile of grading to be done by 3:45pm. If it’s not done? I’m screwed. I knock out the work, go home & spend time with my family, then use that glorious time between Adelyn’s bedtime & mine to nerd out on my phone & annoy my husband.
Of course there are times when I have extra grading to do or am so swamped that I have to carve out some time at home to work. There are always going to be those times but I’m aiming for it to not be a regular part of my week. I certainly don’t have my life totally figured out, far from it. For instance blogging happens at random times & I haven’t gotten a good system for that yet. Dragging myself to yoga at night is a struggle. But working from home has become less & less of an issue thanks to this new routine I’ve had to adopt, so I consider that a win!
IN THIS POST:
This post is part of the monthly BBar link-up so make sure to check out the other participating bloggers’ thoughts on work/life balance:
The B Bar |26 and Not Counting | Rae Loves | Sarah Hartley |Carrie Loves |Soak and Simmer |The Not Quite Adult | White Cabana |PreppyPanache |LiskaMonet |Alyssa J Freitas |Rossetto |With Love From Ellie |Cake & Lilies |Feathers and Stripes |Leigh Clair |White Oak Creative |Life Modifier |Perfect Enough for Us |Random Little Faves |Jacque Of All Trades |Business Betties |Girl for Granted |Alicia Tenise |It’s Droolworthy |Something Good Blog |Elana Lyn |Forth Chicago |Emilie Lima Burke |Manifest Yourself |Fit for a Bride Blog |A Little Leopard |Coral and Cognacs |Little Wild Heard |It’s Julien |Boys and Bombshell |Meg Biram |Victoria McGinley