What if you were able to do it all? What would that add to your life? Imagine a world where your home and work life were perfectly organized and balanced. This can be a reality for you. I’ll show you how.
The first rule in finding balance is learning how best to manage your time. Time management is about managing your time, not having it manage you. Proactively plan your day by first creating a list of everything that has to happen, and then create a schedule to make it happen. With a plan in place, you will be much more productive and can avoid a knee-jerk reaction to the latest crisis.
The second rule is learning how to say no. Overextending yourself by saying yes to every social obligation is never productive. You try to be present everywhere while not really being present anywhere. It’s hard to say “no, thank you” to invitations, I get it, but to accomplish everything necessary and still maintain your sanity, you have to prioritize your social obligations.
The third rule is accepting that just because something has to be done doesn’t mean you have to be the one to do it Make a list of all the tasks, chores, and responsibilities in your life that you can outsource, and enlist the help of your family. Remember, you work hard for your spouse and/or children, so have them help you too. Teach your children responsibility by assigning them chores like feeding and walking the dog, washing the car, and cleaning their bedrooms and bathroom. Divide with your spouse the children’s activities that necessitate a parent present. Children want the support of their parents, but they do not necessarily need the support of both parents at every function. If your spouse steps in to attend soccer games, ballet or music classes, and recitals even a quarter of the time, you will have the extra time you need for other responsibilities that may be pushed to the side.
Think about high-performing people; they aren’t trying to do everything themselves, and they’re not trying to do everything asked of them. Do more by doing less. When you narrow your obligations, delegate, and manage your time, you can do it all.
- Delete unnecessary obligations. Make a list of all your commitments to see where you can delegate responsibility, or delete them altogether. Really analyze all the things you commit to, and see what adds value to your life. Delete all others.
- Write it down. Keep track of your obligations using a calendar or app. There are quite a few free apps out there to help with time management; find the one that works for you. Evernote, Remember The Milk, and Canary are just three free options.
- Delegate to others. Review parenting obligations—sports games, dance and ice-skating performances, music recitals, and the like—with your spouse at the beginning of the school year. Split the obligations according to your schedules, and place the necessary dates in your calendar. For your children, create a chore chart that lists their weekly and monthly responsibilities.