I hear a statement a lot and lately, a lot more frequently.
“How do you do it all?”
Sometimes, I list off a long-winded answer (ahem, a blog post!) on how I go through each of the motions and other times I’m left scratching my head wondering how I actually will get everything done in the time I have. Some days the work load overtakes the laundry load (seriously, does the laundry pile ever go away, though?) and other days I’m found putting my focus more heavily on family.
These days it’s a little easier for me to remain sane, care for myself & littles, and have a career at the same time without facing the dreaded burn out/ breakdown. I’ve been there. It’s not pretty. And that’s not to say that moment won’t rear it’s ugly head in my life again, because, well, life happens! But I have found some ways to manage, balance, and get through the challenges.
5 tips to manage the work/life balance.
Routine | This is a big one for me. ME — The former queen of the Land of Snooze, Rush, and Yell. It’s important to ease into a routine. Just like exercise, if you go full force right off the bat, you’re probably going to get hurt and in this case, it’s not muuuuch different. I started small. I prepped my kids’ breakfasts & lunches the night before. I woke up earlier by 10 minutes, 20 minutes and soon a full half hour. It took time. Sometimes I still press snooze but I try not to because I don’t want to be scrambling to get everyone out of the door. It allows me to have time for myself as well. Whether that’s putting on makeup, actually doing my hair, or getting to make a green tea latte for my car ride, it helps me start my day a little less frantic and that sets a tone for the rest of my day. However, it’s important to follow tip 2 and that is…
Go with the flow | Lord knows when the plans go off the track, it can get bumpy. So bumpy sometimes that I’ve legit felt defeated. Once you get to that point, it’s really hard to get back up again. That’s why going with the flow is key. One of my all-time favorite quotes is by Charles Swindoll and I want you to remember this every time something doesn’t quite go as planned.
“We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude...I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes. “
Be easy on yourself | And with that, tip 3. When it’s not going just as you had planned, it is not the end of the world. You haven’t failed because you had to change the course, you simply improvised in order to get back on it. Don’t lose your focus and take the bad times out on yourself. You don’t need that.
Support system | I don’t know why but I literally just heard Ja Rule in my head sing “What would I be without my lady?” You don’t need hundreds of people who understand you, just a few who can help you through the hard times. When you need to process with a hundred texts to be told you can do it, when you need someone to talk to, when you just need a freaking break to avoid that burnout, this is when your support system, no matter how small, will help you. When I think about the question “How do I do it all?” a big shout out and portion of that goes to my support system.
Find systems that work | Speaking of systems, it could be anything. At my house, everything is both written down in my Erin Condren planner, entered into my phone with reminders zapped to my wrist on my watch. Everything is synced. Why? Because my brain can only hold so much information. Sometimes this means finding a great email system that automates campaigns or outsourcing your social media posts because, seriously, who can remember to post content daily and stay ahead of an algorithm. Plus… routine. See, it all works together. There’s no ONE solution to having it all together, it’s a bunch of little things that make you one big ball of success killing the to-do lists!
At the end of the day, when I can cross off a final item on the to-do list, or melt into the couch with a glass of wine and a Netflix mini-binge, the feeling of accomplishment and knowing how much I did drives me to wake up and do it again.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a working parent, a parent, or just working. Developing healthy balances will be a crucial role in your successes and ultimately, your happiness.
What helps you manage it all? Sound off in the comments!