You have permission to work on the weekend.
What? But isn’t that supposed to be family time?
Of course it is. And, it should remain so, for the most part. However, one of the biggest issues working mothers face is finding time for “it all” without without sacrificing quality of work or quality of family time. And that’s tough to do. That’s why sometimes trying different ways of balancing your world might just work better for you.
A recent Entrepreneur Magazine articleoffered some new ideas for “getting it all done.”
The piece featured time management expert, Laura Vanderkam, and her new book, “I Know How She Does It.” Vanderkam talked with more than 1,000 working women to determine some of the most effective ways for staying sane when caught in the crossfire of work and family commitments.
Here are four of the strategies she revealed:
Say Buh-Bye to 9-5
A new term that’s been cropping up recently is the “Split Shift,” which involves taking a break in the work day to pick up kids from school, engage in homework and after school activities, dinner and bedtime. Then, getting back to work after the kids are in bed. Of course, women have been doing this for ages but now there’s a descriptive term for it…and it’s a viable strategy.
Track Your Time
This seems pretty much a no-brainer but not enough women actually do this. It’s eye opening and liberating. Truly. Spend a week (or even a few days) tracking your time, both work and personal, to see where you’re really spending your precious hours. This will give you a great sense of where your time is going and either help you reassess your commitments to create more balance or, believe it or not, it may prove you’re actually balancing things better than you thought!
Reduce Your To Dos
Once you see where you are spending your time, you should have a better understanding of how to budget your time vs. activities. Reducing is a must and everyone should do this, whether you’re a working mother or not. We can’t stress enough (and neither can any time management expert) that eliminating non-essential tasks and commitments and either delegating them or getting rid of them completely will help keep you focused on your most important activities and save more time for coveted family time.
Work on the Weekend
This may seem contrary to creating good balance but knowing you have some specific, dedicated work time during the weekend can help alleviate stress. This is especially true for working mothers with do take time throughout the workday to spend time with family or take care of personal issues. Just make sure to keep this time focused on important activities and when it’s done, it’s done. And then….it’s time for family and fun!
Balance is an ongoing effort. Think of it as a fluid thing that needs to be fine tuned each day as the tides of life ebb and flow. What strategies have you found to help?