I am many things, there is not one thing that defines me. I am a wife, a mom, a sister, a daughter, a friend and an executive. I have chosen to throw in the mix working mom because I enjoy my career. This is where I excel. But like with all choices, there are challenges. My largest challenge is struggling everyday to be fully present with my family and friends and creating a work/life balance. There always seems to be multi-tasking happening in my head: did I sign the permission slip, I need to return that email, Oh I have a great idea to implement at work, what we are having for dinner tomorrow, the girls outgrew their shoes again.
The competing demands for things I want to do and things that just need to happen are always creating tension and stress. Five strategies I have learned to use manage these as best I can are:
- Amazon Prime. No sooner have I realized that the girls are out of toothpaste, that I am able to have it shipped to the house by the next day, for free.
- Hire others. I am good at a lot of things, cleaning the house and yard work are not my strong points. I learned to delegate at work, I do the same at home.
- Double batch cooking. I love to cook, but trying to get a healthy dinner on the table within 30 minutes of getting home from work is a challenge. When I cook, I try and make enough that will provide a couple of nights of leftovers or freeze portions for another time.
- Conference calls. Managing certain conference calls while doing the laundry or emptying the dishwasher. Mindless tasks with our hands that can be done while being brilliant on the phone.
- Multi-purpose lunches. I schedule lunch meetings in places that are convenient for other errands that need to be done. Need to pick up a prescription? I have lunch near the drugstore. Have dry cleaning to be dropped off? There is a great restaurant to meet a colleague next door.
Everyday at work I look for ways to create efficiencies. How to do things smarter, faster, more cheaply. What can I stop doing because it isn’t adding value? What can I delegate to other team members? Bringing those valuable lessons home has helped to create some sanity and more time to spend in the areas I love. I am still learning everyday how to be fully present, but each of these strategies has helped me to get closer to my goal.