It’s me, Aly. I wanted to check up on you and see how you are doing! I know how difficult it is to be doing so many things at once, which I’m sure you’re guilty of. I mean, aren’t we all??
In my last blog post, I mentioned why we should be very proud of ourselves for being our special kind of superhero , especially if you’re a modern mom and an entrepreneur like me. Overachieving, however, doesn’t always give us the best results. Sometimes, you should know how to pick your battles, know when to stand back and remember your priorities.
By priorities, I mean our own families, of course! I find that I work more passionately when I’m doing it for them. If not for our families, I don’t think the benefits of us working our butts off would be that worth it, don’t you agree?
My point here is, you shouldn’t miss out on your family or allow your relationship with them to suffer by always putting your job before them. On the other hand, you wouldn’t want to prioritize your family too much that you end up being inefficient work. Worse, you’re better off avoiding the stress that inevitably comes with trying too hard to make it work between the two!
The key here is you (and I) should make that decision to find that almost-perfect balance between work and family.
I know, I know. It’s really easier said than done! However, I’ve come up with my own tried and tested tips and I’ve decided to share them with you below! I promise they’re completely doable and your family (and career) will thank you for it!
- Make wise decisions
When you try to carry two baskets of fruits, you first have to make sure you can carry each of them! Find a job or get into a business that interests and challenges you, but doesn’t overwhelm you. At the same time, you need to carefully think of how many kids you can responsibly raise.
If you decide to have your own Von Trapp family and become an on-call doctor, our goal would obviously be a lot more harder to achieve so start by making wise decisions from the very beginning. Whether the family came first in your life or not, you should learn how to adjust accordingly when it comes to your career choice.
- Communicate and ask for help
If you think about it, our real enemy here is time. Perhaps if we had more time in a day, we’d have more time at home. Wouldn’t that just be grand! But in a productivity-driven society, I believe that we’d still feel like we don’t have “enough” time even if we had twice as much hours in a day. We’d simply find more things to become busy with and some aspects of our life would still end up suffering.
So one of my secrets is this: Get other people—particularly your partners, children, bosses and colleagues–involved in this process!
Tell your about your responsibilities and obligations at work so they understand why you’re going to be out for a couple of hours or why you can’t be disturbed while you’re in your room for a Skype meeting. At the same time, discuss their opinions (or even objections!) with your work. This way, you’ll find issues that you need to address and ways in which you can improve.
At the same time, communicate expectations with concerned authorities at work so there won’t be any surprises or disappointments for both parties in case you’re going on a maternity leave or need to skip a work event.
- Establish limits and boundaries between work and family.
I find that one of the most important things that you need to do in order to protect them is to create boundaries for each. Be as specific as you can! For example, if you don’t have a nanny and you have young school children in the house waiting for you after your work shift, make it a point to get home as soon as you get off work—no exceptions! At the same time, do your part and come in to work on time.
Of course, it can be different for most of us who work at home. The rules can be a little more loose, but there should still be boundaries, nonetheless. Obligations and due work should still be observed so give yourself some time to really focus by maybe creating your own private workspace at home. And, if possible, try to avoid work when you’re with family. I, myself, am guilty of checking emails while watching a movie on the couch with the kids, but don’t let it be a habit!
- Improve your productivity
By that, I’m not suggesting you overwork! I’m encouraging that you work smart. Make your time worth it, whether you’re at work or spending time with your family.
I really do agree that you can never have enough or too much time with your loved ones, so do something special whenever you’re together! Ditch your phone, turn off the TV (unless it’s movie night), go on a trip or have a hotel “staycation” over the weekend! This way, you can make a mere couple of minutes more special and unforgettable.
When you’re working, avoid distractions by clearing your work space and find other ways that you can focus better. Finish tasks at hand on time, as much as possible, so you don’t have to spend extra time on them when you could be using that extra hour with your family instead!
- Take out the guilt
The final step is this: Accept that there will always be imbalance at one point or another. It’s not your fault! In fact, it’s because we’re so passionate about our family and career that we can’t help giving a little too much of ourselves to each!
There will be times when you have to prioritize one over the other—you only have to learn how to tell when these instances are and how you’re supposed to adjust. When one of your kids is sick, by all means, it’s completely understandable for you to skip that work event. Overtime should also be completely acceptable if it’s not too often and you can have someone you can trust take over for you at home.
Achieving the kind of balance you want for your life can be a long process, but I personally assure you that it’s possible, and it can happen!
This is one of the reasons why I chose to put up my own businesses, Kinder Keepsakes and AlysonPorter.com, from the comforts of my own home where I can still be the mother and homemaker that I dream of being. It’s been a truly rewarding few years of my life and I believe anyone can achieve the same through dedication and hardwork!
If you need more tips on how you can free up more of your time from your online businesses, don’t hesitate to let me know! Through AlysonPorter.com, I offer professional advice on how you can find manufacturers for your products and outsource work so you can have more time for your family!
Can’t wait to hear from you!