Wednesday, July 1, 2009
~Balancing Act, Part II~
There's no simple formula for balancing work-life. It's a matter of trial-and-error. I've found that the following works for me:
Pray - Really. Very important. I begin and end my day with it. It's the single-most-important thing to keeping balance. Always make time for it.
Get Organized - I can't function in chaos. If my studio/workspace is in order, I accomplish more in a shorter span of time. Though I hate spending time doing it....it's worth it!
Focus - When I'm in my studio, I focus on work. When I step back into my home, I focus on home and family. This part is a curse for those who work at home. You have to know when it's time to step back into that work-world, without procrastinating! After all....there's no 'boss' standing there next to a time clock!
And there's no paycheck at the end of the month, either, unless you produce!!
Make Lists - I make a list each nite for the next day. I cross things off as I finish each task. This not only makes me see that I am indeed accomplishing things, but keeps me organized as well. Things that do not get finished go on the next day's list.
Prioritize - The most important things to be done for the day are listed first, etc.
Set Boundaries and Learn to Say 'No' - This is a hard one. People think that since you're 'at home', you can do their 'favors' and meet their demands. You cannot. (unless you have found those elves I've been waiting for!) There is no paycheck unless you produce. This includes learning not to be a slave to emails and phone calls. (and blogs!) Work comes first.
Take Time For Yourself - This is a hard one for many people....including yours truly. I have a tendency to be a workaholic. It's good for my business, but not for me. I fit in exercise when I can, and try to remember to take mini-breaks. These can simply be walking out into the woods with my puppies and an iced coffee...or returning a phone call to a friend. The secret is to keep the breaks short. I also try to fit in lunch with friends....which doesn't happen very often during show season!!
Ditch the Guilt - It's a useless emotion. You just can't do it all. Really. I have a hard time convincing myself of this one.
Be flexible - Change is imminent. And good. Those who accept and embrace change and work willingly within the new parameters are more productive and better-adjusted. And less frustrated!!
All that said....I struggle with some of these. Balancing it all just isn't easy. Seeing my Mom is a priority. I fit it into my week with the help of my Uncle Joe....who goes to see Mom when I can't. We touch base each morning and discuss who will visit that day.
I also struggle with not working too many hours. I start my days early, and finish late. Sometimes way too late. It's just the way it is right now, and although I was used to working this way when my business started 20 years ago, I struggle with my lack of physical stamina now. If I could just 'clone' myself. Or find those elves!! Fortunately, Jim will often drag me out of the studio. I don't go willingly. There's usually kicking and screaming involved. But he's always right!
I'm off to the studio with lists, puppies and coffee. Have a glorious Wednesday wherever you are in the world~