Do you have this discussion? The debate about how much time is spent at work versus spent at home? I have it with my husband, JP, friends, family and myself! It’s a constant struggle to juggle all of the responsibilities in one day and to save time for yourself and your priorities at the same time.
You can do anything, but not everything
It’s a constant struggle for women everywhere to determine if they are spending too much time being ambitious at work, taking on more, striving for career goals. And, that’s because perfect work – life balance does not exist. If we go, go go, it’s inevitable that something will slip…our relationships, our health, our reliability, something. We are all doing important things in our life, it’s not a question of what is more important, it’s all important.
Balancing work life and home life requires the ability to be all things to everyone, but at what cost? Working so hard that your supervisor can’t imagine one day without you there sounds great! I love to be an essential part of my office. However, what time does that leave for home? Being the best usher at church, always available for every task and function is great service to God. However, what time does that leave for your health? Spending every Saturday morning cleaning the house, preparing food, washing clothes makes for a wonderful care taker and a lovely home. However, what time does that leave for relaxing with your spouse?
Is it starting to sound impossible yet?
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
I have learned that the key to doing it all is to decide what your “all” is.
Priorities change through time and everything will not be completed every time. What is important in your 20’s will be much less important in your 30’s. Therefore it is vital to check in with God and take a good look at what should be on the priority list and what warrants your time.
1. Pick your priorities
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3
Obviously there are some items that will always be on this list, for me that is myself, relationship with God, spouse, family. But, take a look at what is going on and try to meditate on the future, listening to learn what direction to take. Perhaps there is a major conference coming up at work and that will be an opportunity to hob nob with some potential future employers. If changing jobs is on the horizon it’s ok to spend some time in that field, using opportunities that arise to your advantage. This is just one example of many. As we evolve through life, our priorities can evolve as well.
2. Get organized
The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. Proverbs 21:5
For real this time. Being organized is necessary to getting it all done. By looking at all of your responsibilities and to do lists it may help to see what is getting more of your time and where you may need to balance that out. I have overbooked myself and I hate the anxiety I get running from one place to another because I didn’t plan correctly. It’s the same with work/life balance. If there is no balance there might be anxiety that everything is not “getting done”. Organization requires some quiet time. I like to sit alone for 30 minutes and go as far into the next month as possible, thinking about all engagements, opportunities and responsibilities. Then determine what may need to be pushed until the following month and what may need to be moved up and done immediately. By being organized you may find more time in the day because you are not wasting time on things that aren’t necessary to do at a particular moment.
3. Say no
Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it. Proverbs 21:20
I’ve written about this before. Sometimes there is no room for more, more committees to join, more volunteer days to do, more dinners to cook, more work to accept. I am pretty good with this one, not taking on more than I have to. If I’ve had a mentally draining day and 5:00pm rolls around, it’s time to go home. I have realized that I got up at 5am to workout, worked through my lunch break and got everything on my must do list done, I can know that I’ve had a great day and to reward myself for that I go home on time. Being a workaholic and neglecting everything else is not healthy and neither is spending too long at the gym, getting to work late, and leaving early. This is where balance comes in. If your current schedule does not line up with your priority list or your organized guidelines, than it may not be time to take on extra projects.
4. Be present in the moment
Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. Hebrews 13:18
After you’ve signed off for the day, leave work at work (if possible). Unless you are on call, most issues can wait until the morning. Getting in the habit of letting your coworkers know that you are available for emergencies, but all else will be answered in the morning should cut down on the distractions when you are at home. Working after hours at home does not give all attention to your life duties and again, there is no balance. You might as well still be at work! Being present also counts when you are taking time for yourself, if someone calls, ask if it’s an emergency and if not, give them a time when you are available to talk. If you are determined to make it to Bible study on time, prepare food the day before to eat leftovers so you can get out of the door quickly and concentrate completely on the lesson. Whatever you are doing, be there fully.
I am personally working on getting more organized. I like to get excited about something and just go full steam ahead forgetting that I need to plan accordingly and determine if it fits within my agreed upon priorities or not. What about work/life balance do you need to work on? Let me know, I’d love to hear about it!
This post is being shared and featured with others for the B Bar’s monthly linkup series about work life balance and how to really accomplish this!
The B Bar/26 and Not Counting /Rae Loves /Sarah Hartley /Carrie Loves/ Soak and Simmer