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Finding the Balance in Life and Work.
- Be a great employee
- Get your career on track
- Eat well
- Be a good parent
- Do the housework
- See your friends
- Look after your family/friends
Sometimes the list seems never-ending; I'm a list kinda person.
How do we fit it all in?
How do we get the balance right?
Here are some tools and tricks I find work for me. It appears that I have a few 'rules' I live by:
- When I'm at home - home stuff comes first
- When I'm at work (or working from home) - work comes first
- Family wins
- Do stuff that makes you happy
So how does this work in practice? When I'm working - I focus, One Thing at a time (as much as I can). Priorities can change and there are times when plans and focus go out of the window, but I try, each day, to have a focus, what do I want to achieve. I will aim to focus on that piece of work for a set period, avoiding distractions (usually with earphones in!)
I set some time in my day to deal with the 'noise' - working through emails, calendar requirements and quick tasks.
I confess, I'm not great at leaving my desk at lunchtime but a quick walk around the block can make such a difference and make me feel completely refreshed. Even just taking a few deep breaths, standing up, walking to the water cooler or kitchen can give that next burst of energy and refocus the mind or calm after a particularly heated exchange.
Working from home is a blessing - I love the buzz of a busy office, the people interactions and connections. For me face to face is great but I can also be easily distracted and diverted from my One Thing and my goals for the day - working from home gives me the space to concentrate and focus.
When I leave the office my focus shifts, that is family and me time. I have time 'scheduled' in my week which is 'me time' - I go for a run, do a boxercise class, swim - sorry, I'm not really a sofa, wine and bath kinda girl! That works for some people, but I like to be active. I find this time is great for looking after both my physical and mental health, I focus on now, on breathing, connecting the punch, keeping the pace, hand entry (front crawl) etc. and then I let my mind wander. This time can be great for problem-solving, generating creative ideas and just being in the now.
At home, being organised, meal planning and not being afraid to ask for help all help to keep our house running, don't get me wrong - I am far from perfect - I'd far rather sit and play Lego, games or watch a film with my 4-year-old than clean the bathroom or vacuum the house - the cleaning can wait, my daughter is changing every day and the last 4 years have flown in blur. This year, we are trying to say 'no' more often and to give ourselves breathing space at home - our holidays are booked (mostly) - that is our down time and time to refresh.