Walk The Line: Balancing Life and an At-Home Career as a Woman
As women, we often shoulder the responsibilities of running a home, taking care of children, and even managing our own business. And while having all of these things in our lives can make it more meaningful, it’s not always easy juggling these roles. When it comes to managing the various aspects of our day, it’s important we learn how to navigate the thin line between giving enough and too much.
If you’re struggling to figure out how to find balance, keep reading for some helpful tips.
The Early Bird
When you have a lot on your plate, it can be hard to carve out the time to manage it all. However, getting a head start on the tasks — no matter how large or small — is the best way to get the proverbial worm. Planning ahead is key. Start by getting up early each morning.
Many successful executives start their day before the sun comes up. Not only does this give you extra time to tend to urgent matters, but it also gives you a chance to do so while things are quiet and calm, and your mind is well-rested. In addition to becoming an early riser, it also pays to make arrangements well in advance so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute. For example, if you know that you are scheduled for a sales meeting two weeks from now, don’t wait until two days prior to book a babysitter.
Home is where the heart is. But if you work from home, it’s also where your livelihood resides. You will be better prepared to handle your priorities in an organized workspace. Angie’s List smartly recommends to keep clutter off your desk, since an excess of anything can serve as a distraction. Be sure that your home office has a dedicated spot for supplies, too. After all, realizing you need to leave an event unexpectedly to pick up extra pens can ruin an otherwise productive afternoon.
When you’re running your own business from home, here’s an important rule of thumb to keep in mind: keep your professional responsibilities separate from your personal interests. This isn’t always possible, of course, but you should make a conscious effort to work set hours and to focus on your family, friends, and yourself during other hours. If possible, put your home office in the furthest possible room from your main living area or bedroom and establish rules about people entering your workspace during office hours.
Start with the Toughest Tasks
When you are trying to achieve balance, you have to learn how to prioritize. Create task lists to help you stay on track. Ideally, you want to tackle your most important issues first, and then allow yourself the mental freedom to wrap up lower-priority jobs at the end of the day. Create a plan of attack that allows you to battle the bulk of your daily, weekly, or monthly burdens in a timely manner, so you aren’t rushing to meet deadlines. You can even use categories to determine which items are most urgent.
You can take all this a step further by breaking down your larger tasks into smaller, more manageable steps. Look at your big projects as milestone achievements. This way, you are better able to see your progress and will be more likely to finish up without delays.
Girls Just Wanna Have Freedom
As women, many of us want to be everything to everyone. But that means we have to take extra steps to plan out our day. And when we work and live in the same place, that can be hard to do. Don’t give up. It’s possible to balance your career with your life — you just have to plan ahead.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephanie Haywood manages mylifeboost.com, a site dedicated to sharing resources for women seeking knowledge about self-care.