Finding the elusive work life balance.
It’s a tough one, ye all live in a world where our lives are run at 100mph all the time, we are constantly bombarded with things to look at, to read sound bites off and to generally consume. Or lives are full, from the moment we wake up to the time when we fall asleep.
More and more demands are made on us with work, to get this sorted by this deadline and get this done, people work later and earlier, even through their lunch breaks because they can’t leave their desk because work is busy.
Even if you don’t work it’s amazing how much you can fill your day doing stuff, around the house running after kids, being here there and everywhere.
It’s hard to find that balance where you take time out for you, where you can take time with the family and switch off.
Even when you go away, a lot of people now still don’t switch off as they have their emails coming through on their phone.
So, let’s tell you about how I deal with it.
I work for myself in an industry that generally works outside of the so called normal hours, so early mornings, late evenings and weekends.
For me it’s always been a fight and I don’t think I will ever get it right but what I have got now is working for me.
We have an extended family here so all the kids are from previous relationships which means we are only ever all together every other weekend and we have the girls every other week.
This does mean that the time we do have with them is more precious than usual. I used to work evenings, weekends and whenever I could to bring the money in but it was causing more stress than anything else, especially at weekends when the 2 of the kids will be playing football, Sally playing netball and trying to cover it all at once and still work.
So realizing all I was doing was running myself into the ground and causing more stress and just missing what was going on in the families lives I decided to change things.
So, I moved all my weekend work to during the week, yes I work from 6am – 9.30pm Mon-Thurs and 7.30 on a Friday but that is just the PT life, I do make sure that I am around mostly for when they get back from school, this is a bonus of having a studio in my garage. I also am around at weekends, so I get to watch them play football or I get to do something else.
So that is the family part of it done, but what about me, what do I do for me, well I also book out an afternoon off so I don’t do anything between 11.30am and 5.30pm one day a week and make sure I do switch off and have nothing to do with work.
I generally bugger off to the cinema for this time, because whilst I am there I can’t be tempted to work, I can’t sit there answering emails or text messages from clients or wasting time on social media. I’ve also found a love for Surfing which means I will try to get away at the weekend when the kids aren’t around and spend a day in the water.
Money isn’t everything and getting a few hundred pounds a month more by working on a weekend isn’t worth the trade of not seeing the kids play football or spend time with the wife.
Once a month I do work a Saturday morning when the kids aren’t around but I don’t see it as work, I do a yoga nidra session at mine and then a coffee morning all for free so it’s not working and we socialize with coffee and cake. How can you call that work :)?
Don’t get me wrong the kids are of an age when they don’t really want you around anyway and would rather be doing stuff with their mates but knowing I am about if they need me is so much better than feeling strung out and stressed.
Is it the perfect balance, nope I don’t think there is one, but at the moment it works for me.
How do you sort it for you?
Well, you must find out and work out what is important to you, once you have done that you can then work out what it is you need to do, whether it is making sure you spend time with the kids in the week, have a date night or so with the partner.
Spend your weekends doing stuff you want to do as well as everyone else.
You see it’s not just about doing everything for everyone else, it is also about doing something for you.
Find something that works for you and keep doing it until it doesn’t anymore, then and only then change it.