With so much going on in our lives, it is easy to lose balance and feel out of control. One of the hardest things for many to accept is that they can do a lot, but cannot do it all. Now is the time to take a deep breath and seriously about what can be eliminated from your hectic schedule.
The demands of family and work can be difficult to prioritize. Our families are so important that we sometimes put work first because we are so busy trying to make a good life for our family. It is a conundrum much like, "which came first, the chicken or the egg?
Here are 10 ways to help balance the scales. Keep in mind that you will probably have to continually make changes as you go along to keep things running smoothly.
- Learn to say no. If you try to be everything to everyone you are bound to be miserable.
- Write it down. For one week, record everything you do. That means work, home, family, errands. Then sit down and look at your life. If you see a pattern where you are doing things you don’t enjoy and have the ability or authority to make a change, do it. If it is a workplace situation, ask for a meeting with your supervisor and see what changes can be made. Perhaps you can trade off one duty for another one that you enjoy.
- Adopt a “good enough” attitude. Let a few things go. The world is not going to come to an end if you don’t get your dusting done today. Are you setting unreasonable standards for yourself?
- Use your time efficiently. Try to do things as you go, rather than letting big jobs build up.
- Communicate communicate, communicate. This will help you avoid time-consuming, energy-sucking situations.
- Take care of yourself. Try to do something that you enjoy every day. I have a friend who gets up at the crack of dawn to enjoy her first cup of coffee in absolute solitude.
- Enjoy your day off. Try to do household chores during the week, so you don’t have to spend your day off catching up. If possible do some of “pick-up or drop-off” chores, immediately after work. Don’t wait until the weekend to take or pick up clothing from the cleaners, etc.
- Get some sleep. If you work outside of the house, take a personal day and make plans to relax and nap. You will be amazed by how much better you feel. If you have children, don’t change your childcare plans. Then surprise your little one and pick him up a couple of hours earlier for some bonding time.
- Talk to a friend. Make sure you have someone you trust, that you can talk to. If you feel supported, it will make it easier to get through the tough times that everyone inevitably faces.
- Ask for help. When you feel like things are out of control—ask for help. If you are someone who finds it difficult to open up to family or friends, go to a professional. Talk to a psychologist, doctor, or other professional who can help you when you’re at your most vulnerable point.