It is fantastic to be come up with a plan to balance work and home. This article is the first of a series on balancing home and work. Future articles will cover:
- balancing work vacations and school schedules
- office networking vs family time
- changing priorities
- making each side feel special
As a work at home mother, I am uniquely aware of the struggle involved in trying to balance work and home. We must work in order to earn a living and at the same time, we must spend time with our families, because that is where our hearts lie. That is the reason for this series, to show that we can balance work and home and emerge happily on the other side. In order to do that, we must use careful planning strategies. Thus, our first article in the November Fantastic Friday series – the plan fail dichotomy.
It seems that I have written tens of articles over the past several months where I reference the old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” The reason that saying keeps coming up in my articles is because it is true. I am sure many people will read this and say that they never make plans and yet they always grow prize-winning roses. However, one of the realities of life is that you must plan your garden if you want things to come up roses.
If you are a typical woman you have professional demands and demands at home and only 24 hours in each day. In order to get the most out of those 24 hours, you must have a plan and then work that plan. If you are serious about developing a plan that will allow you to handle work and home in the most efficient way possible, get out your planning tool and start making some appointments. Some people use those neat Franklin Covey type planners. Other people are addicted to their smart phones’ calendar program. I am a Kindle Fire girl so that is what I will be using for this exercise. No matter what organizing device you will be using, open it up and let’s get started:
- block off your normal work hours
- You cannot schedule family obligations during work hours, so mark this time as occupied
- get out the calendar for your children’s school and fill in all the PTA meetings, grade level socials and school events (by filling in this information, you will not schedule work events during the time you want to be handling family obligations)
- get your spouse’s calendar and add events from that calendar that you must attend
- fill in the calendar spaces for how you will spend each day
- mark off the time you get up
- if you exercise schedule it in the calendar
- add in normal professional tasks for each day
- networking after work events
- professional conferences you should attend
- get-togethers with co-workers to help build relationships
- professional reading/research that should be done
- add in normal personal everyday tasks such as dinner, homework help, laundry, grocery shopping, library, family outings, religious services
When you have filled in your calendar with all your professional and personal obligations and time schedules look at the calendar carefully. Are there areas of overlap? If yes, something has to be moved or rescheduled do it now. Have you left ample travel time between appointments? If not move things around so that you have sufficient time to travel between events. Your calendar may now be very crowded. Do not get afraid, do not despair. A grown up has a busy calendar, a busy life, and lots of obligations. This is a situation you must look at like a grown up. If the calendar is too full for you to handle, make some changes now and cancel some of our appointments and obligations. You only have 24 hours in each day, you cannot do everything, so, show up like a grown up and make the tough decisions.
Do not try to wing it when it comes to balancing work and home. Look at all your various roles realistically, schedule your obligations and then plan how to get done what will get done. Keep in mind, a person riding a unicycle. A unicycle rider is always moving and adjusting, attempting to find and keep balance. That is what you must do, realize that balancing all you must balance is a job that is ever-moving and ever-changing, but it is your life and you can do it, you must do it
In conclusion, it is fantastic to be come up with a plan to balance work and home So, the question for you this fantastic day is how are you going to balance your work and home lives