I grew up in a corporate world where you kept office issues at the office and home issues at home – never should the two mingle. I was good at it. My success at work continued to be acknowledged with promotions.
Many of my co-workers thought I did not have a husband or kids. My kids had no idea what I did all day and why I was gone some evenings.
Over the years I began to feel like I was two different people and I never felt “balanced”. I felt split in two and neither world seemed to be going well. My work performance was suffering and the family was complaining – a lot!!
Mingle Your Two Worlds Together
One day, almost by accident, I mingled my two worlds together. I began to take my work skills home and my home skills to work. How was it that I was so organized at work and at home I could barely get through a weekend? I had developed tremendous time management techniques for managing my day at work, now I needed to apply them at home.
Set Time Limits
Begin by assigning time limits to your activities. Here is an example of how it works. If cleaning the kitchen is on my list of weekend activities, in my head I allot forty minutes to get it done. I am always aware of the time so as not to go over. After forty minutes, I need to be finished and on to the next item on my list.
I don’t take another fifteen minutes for the sake of finishing. I have a hard stop and walk away. If there is more cleaning to be done, I schedule time another day. It is also a learning opportunity: now I know that cleaning the kitchen takes more than forty minutes.
Windows of Time
I don’t think of my workday as one concrete block of time that occurred during set hours, Monday through Friday, but if I allowed it, work would keep me at the office long after my sons had gone to bed and I wanted to be home before their eyelids were droopy.
I did whatever was necessary to leave work at a reasonable hour and go home. I knew this could not be the end of the workday but for a short period in the evening, I chiseled out a small chunk of time for my life outside of work. After I tucked the boys away, I would get my second wind and wrap up a few issues from the office.
The fact is there is not enough time in the day for everything you want to accomplish at home or the office. Instead of feeling “unbalanced” use your time well and make the best of the time you do have and enjoy it!
Choose to be present, choose to live!
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