Learning how to do it all

Yeah…that’s a myth.  We put all of this pressure on ourselves to be the perfect professional, perfect spouse/partner, parent, friend, daughter/son, have the perfect car parked in the perfect house in the perfect neighborhood…the list goes on and on.

So how do you bridge the gap between work and life and do all that you need to do to keep going in all of these areas?  Here is a roadmap of tried and true methods to help you achieve that elusive work/life balance:

    1. Practice self-love and self-care.  Especially to women, the thought of putting ourselves first and being nice to ourselves in the face of an epically long to-do list, a bunch of unfinished tasks, a messy house, etc. is the last thing that will happen.  “Once I get this list of things done <or insert whatever big things you are trying to tackle>, THEN I can take some time for myself and practice self-care.” Is that the dialogue in your head? It sure is in mine. This actually leads to burnout and perpetuates the cycle in which you find yourself!  Burnout is serious…it’s a state of chronic stress that leads to:
        • Physical and emotional exhaustion
        • Cynicism and detachment
        • Feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment
        • Symptoms
        • Chronic fatigue
        • Insomnia
        • Forgetfulness/impaired concentration and attention
        • Physical symptoms like chest pain, heart palpitations, headaches, etc.
        • Increased illness
        • Loss of appetite
        • Anxiety & depression
        • Anger & irritability
        • Lack of productivity and poor performance

      (source: www.psychologytoday.com)

      Number one thing you can to do keep getting burned out is to take care of yourself!

    2. Have a vision for your life and give yourself the freedom to follow it.  You mean you get to determine what you want for your life? YES! Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  If you aren’t happy with your job or where your life is going, do a vision exercise to help you identify themes and uncover your big goals and dreams for your life and go after them!  Often times, the only things holding us back is ourselves.
    3. Stop expecting perfection.  That means giving yourself grace if you don’t do things 100% perfectly all the time (because you are never going to do that!)  Focus a majority of your time and efforts on the things that you are great at and the things you enjoy. Drop what you absolutely can’t stand doing (if at all possible), and delegate the rest whether it is at work or at home.  
    4. Ask for help!  This is a hard one, especially for most executives and leaders who are used to doing everything themselves.  Repeat after me: “I don’t have to be perfect at everything.” Next, make a list of 2 – 3 things that you could use help with right now and ask people you trust to get the job done.  Lastly, stop judging or shaming yourself that you didn’t do these things to begin with. Everyone needs help. And, contrary to popular belief, it is a sign of strength for asking for it.  
    5. Learn how to say “NO.”  Regardless of if you are at work or home, it is up to you to guard and protect your time.  This includes coming up with a list of things that are absolutely non-negotiable as important, such as family time, date night, time at the gym, etc.  If something comes up that threatens to eliminate one or more of your non-negotiables, that is a great opportunity to rethink the opportunity and kindly say “no” if possible.  Especially in your personal life, don’t make a habit of saying “yes” strictly out of guilt.
    6. Stop stressing.  In our must-be-connected-all-the-time society with smartphones and tablets, it is important to make decreasing stress a major priority.  This means:
      • Unplugging from your smartphone/tablet/computer regularly
      • Choose the “lowest common denominator” from the things that really stress you out and if you can, get rid of the low-hanging fruit.  For example, if your house being not 100% clean totally stresses you out, then perhaps hire a cleaning lady to do the big stuff.
      • Get enough sleep!  This is incredibly important to not only your physical health, but your emotional health as well.  The recommended number of hours of sleep per night for most adults is between 7 – 9 hours.  Aside from the big risks for medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, it also shortens your life expectancy.  Additionally, not getting enough sleep severely impacts your critical thinking and decision-making skills, compromises your immune system, and can put you at risk for mood disorders like depression and anxiety.

 

Amanda Thomas

Amanda Thomas

Amanda is founder and president of TwoScore, a firm that channels her passion for the credit union mission and people to help credit unions under $100 million in assets reach ... Web: www.twoscore.com Details

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