PantSuitsMom’s 5 “Rules” to Achieving a Work-Life Balance
I figured sine I have this blog now and I claim to have it all figured out (cough, cough), I should probably offer you some practical advice. Or at the very least, some advice I have used so far in my career to achieve the balance I have today.
- Set Your Priorities
You, and only you, can set your priorities the way you want them. There is no right or wrong here, but it does lay the foundation for achieving a work-life balance. For me my priorities look something like this:
God – my faith is important to me, but since this can be a touchy subject I‘ll leave this priority here and let its rank of #1 speak for itself.
Self – Yes, I put myself before my family. No, I promise I am not selfish; I am realistic. If I don’t take care of myself, how can I be the best mother and the best wife possible?
Child/Husband/Marriage – FirefighterDad and Diapers will always come before my job – always
Family/Friends – if they are in need, I am here to help. The most important thing in life is your relationships (thanks Dad for teaching this to me at a tinder age!) – remember this m’kay?
Work – finally the good ol’ career.
Are you shocked? Do you need a second do get off of the floor?
Okay, I’ll wait.
Okay, you good?
I know it’s probably surprising for you to see that my last priority is work. But it’s true. And you know what, I am okay with it. This is the way I want my priorities to be. So now you’re probably wondering why this “rule” is so important, or else you think I am a crazy lady who has her head up in the clouds – I’m alright with that.
- Your Boss (should) Only Cares About the End Result
Rule 2 is what makes Rule 1 work. If you have a good boss, he/she will only care about how your work directly influences the end result. Are you a valuable and contributing team member? Do you meet deadlines, finish projects, and get your job done? Then great, you have satisfied your boss. Do you see now how Rule 1 is possible?
- Be Honest and Positive
Honesty is the best policy. Cliché’ yes, but clichés are built on truth (haha, I just made that up, but it sounds pretty good huh?). Seriously, you must be honest with yourself and remain positive. Life is hard ya’ll. Some days won’t go according to plan, but stay calm, keep positive, and accept the reality you are currently facing. Be easy on yourself, give yourself grace, but be honest.
- Time Management
I have Rule 3 because it builds into Rule 4 – time management. Let’s do a little math. Oh stop, don’t roll your eyes, this will be fun!
Susie has 24 hours in her day. If she sleeps for 8 hours and works for 10 hours, how many hours does she have left when she gets home?
Susie has 6 hours left in her day that she needs to fit her work commute, child drop-offs/pick- ups, getting ready for work, getting child ready for the day, laundry, cooking, cleaning, and maybe even a glass of wine into. It goes quickly ya’ll. 6 hours seems like a lot, but it goes by fast.
So having good time management skills is essential to having a work-life balance. If you can’t get your job done in 8-10 hours a day, you need to re-access how you are spending your time. Sound harsh? Well, I am following my own advice and using Rule 3 – I’m being honest.
So I know this topic can get heated – some of you may disagree completely and think I am off my rocker and that’s okay. But the reality is we all have a 24 hour day – if you need to adapt and adjust your schedule so it works best for you, then do it. Referring back to Rule 2, your Boss cares about the end result, not how you got to the end result.
- Have the Conversation
If Rule 4 just isn’t working and you know you need to make some changes, then have a conversation with your manager. For example, I am a morning person. I prefer to get to the office at 7:30-7:45 when it’s quite and I can get shit done. But this also means I’m not staying until 6 pm like some of my coworkers who crawl into work at 9 am. Diapers gets dropped off at 5 pm, so I spoke to my manager, explained to him that I can yield high impact results for the company by coming to work earlier and this accommodates my childcare needs. He agreed and he sees the results; another words, my work speaks for itself. Don’t be afraid to change up your schedule if it isn’t working for you. Feel empowered to take back control and find a routine that makes you happy and works.
Now some questions for you:
What works for you when it comes to work-life balance?
Have you ever had to tweak a routine?