Does your life – home and work – have to be quite so hard? Is this something you say most days if not every day?
I have done it! I’m sure you have too, especially working women and with children! Men too so I won’t leave them out – but balancing so much of ‘life’ in a day is daunting for many!
So STOP. Take time out (YES, you can!) and save yourself more time in future…and reduce your stress, make you smile, enjoy your relationships, and even …have some fun!
Time to think is essential time! Why, it isn’t just to plan your project at work, or decide how to manage a situation or person at work – it matters (perhaps more!) at home!
But for both the answer is to STOP – THINK – PLAN – ACTION in a new way!
Take just half an hour out of whatever part of the day makes sense to you – now and in future, realise this might change! Could be morning before anyone else is awake and demanding of you; at night before you sleep but not too close to bedtime that worry keeps you from sleeping because that’s important too! Over lunchtime you can take yourself off to the park and eat a sandwich there, to a quiet room where you won’t be disturbed, or back home whilst the family are out!
Just half an hour to sit, relax, allow your mind to wander. Let the other thoughts pass on through your mind, and get hold of any that relate to struggles managing your life’s responsibilities.
Write them down as they appear, then let them go. You have a note of them to tackle now.
When you have a few – no doubt recurring ones from yesterday and last month especially!
Now, write down 20 ideas on each one how you COULD tackle it. Yes, 20! NO matter how ridiculous, or how little realistic expectation their might be for it. Write them down.
NOW – look at each one and choose 10 that you will look at realistically, over the next week or two.
For each of these write down 5 things you will need to make them reality.
Now let’s see how real they actually could be for you!
Start taking action. You could:
- Ring for advice, ask friends, family, colleagues for their thoughts, ideas, suggestions that relate to your potential ‘solution’
- Research online, read articles, books on your shelf, from others you know have them and dip into relevant sections to reinforce your ‘solution
- Ask your partner, family, friends for help in managing your life – baby-sitting, sharing chores like shopping, child-care one evening a week, what they do like deliveries v you going to buy, contacts that help them …
- If any of these become stressful to answer, realise or find more – cross them off your list now! Save time that way by not ‘keep trying’ and ‘saying no’ when you need to.
Your next action steps will be real physical actions
DELEGATE – Make a small change to one task a week
Such as shopping delivery v shopping and unpacking! Child care sharing. Mum and dad love having the grandchild so let them enjoy it and everyone benefits!
- Arranging with another mum at work or friends who can share your child care load – often you have children of similar ages who can benefit from sharing dinner and playtime at one house then the other. No cost, trusted care, time for you to do chores/work later/chill out!
- You could remove a task from you list and hand it off to your partner, or even your child if they are an appropriate age! Buy their lunch at school, make their own lunch (whatever that might be!), husband or wife can eat later than you whilst you get on with your day and even make their own meal!
- Dad can cook tea one night – baked beans it is! Or design and prep the outfit for School Book Day, or bake the cake for charity day, or child care for ‘come to tea’ dates; he does a lot of thinking too and not just about his stuff maybe!
Mum could take your child to football practice for a change – see how it works, how good they are on the field, time out for her; she could go to the garage and get the car fixed (with instructions maybe as I would need!) or mow the lawn this week …
We are all flexible, adaptablee and capable of much more than we expect. And we can ask for more than we do, swap roles, share ideas, think differently! Just try it.
At work …
- At work, delegate jobs to save your time for stuff only you can do. It might be a colleague and peer rather than someone you manage, it could be your manager who is better placed to find out one small fact in a meeting than you making calls, waiting for an answer, negotiating a meeting and waiting on decisions! Done!
- At work you could hand over responsibility AND gain respect and loyalty by trusting your team to work with you for the mutual objectives – yet meeting their values and needs, using their specific skills, being valued and trusted, accepted as one of the team and much more!
Both or either…
- Realise you don’t have to DO IT ALL – delegate tasks and RESPONSIBILITY to your children, your family, your best friend who ‘needs you’ to …
- Say ‘No’ more….and without sorry or explanation. Find phrases to give you time to think instead of saying ‘Yes’ resentfully! Resentment takes time and head space, and emotionally too!
“Be still like a mountain and flow like a great river” – let your head do the work!