Can I Manage Work and Home?
By Robyn Pearce
So you have family responsibilities or exciting interests you'd love to
develop - and a busy and demanding professional role.
Does it sometimes get all too hard? You've just had a long weekend, or
a good holiday, and your heels drag reluctantly back to work. You wish the
holiday could go on forever. On the first morning back you wave your
family goodbye as they head into their day, and long for the opportunity
to spend more time with them. Or you put aside your special passion, lay
down your paintbrush, your music, or your sports equipment.
You arrive back at work, the boss says, 'Thank goodness you're back. I
just can't manage without you', and you slip right back into the hectic
schedule. Within a few days it's as if you'd never been away. You're happy
to be needed, but buried inside under the avalanche of 'busyness' is a
thought that you're living life in the fast lane, without ever stopping
long enough to check if you're on the right highway.
Does this sound familiar?
Few people take time to see clearly where they want to go in life. They
hear the far off music, but don't take the time to search for the source.
If we have no goals, no clear path, we'll never know for sure whether
we're driving down the right road. We'll also feel pulled and pushed by
the winds of fate, instead of experiencing a sense of control, balance,
and satisfaction with our life.
Yes, life is exciting. Yes, life is lived in the fast lane these days.
And - another yes - we can control more of our happenings than many people
realise. However, it takes some thinking and planning ahead, and you may
have to enlist the support of others.
Some Practical Tips:
- Be strong enough to say 'No' politely but firmly if you have
last-minuting team members who consistently ask you to stay back, when
it will conflict with your other responsibilities.
- Make regular outside commitments clear when you first consider a
job. Once you've started, if something new comes up, discuss it with
your boss. Managers are not mind readers - communicate. Most of the
time they'll be flexible if asked.
- You work with challenging people who won't support your interests?
Try future pacing. Imagine yourself coming away from a meeting with
them that has gone really well. You've expressed yourself eloquently,
they've been totally supportive, and you're feeling great. Do you know
that your subconscious can't distinguish the difference between
present and future? Create a memory of success, and when the time
comes to ask you'll walk in with more confidence. You're also much
more likely to get your desired outcome.
- Hire a cleaner. Many people say 'I couldn't afford it.' How much do
you spend on lunches and snacks right now? A couple of hours will only
cost between $30-$45, you'll come home to a clean house, and Saturday
can be spent on life-enriching pursuits instead of embracing a broom
and a toilet brush!
- Do a load of washing every few nights and use a clotheshorse to dry
- Have pre-cooked meals in the freezer for the nights you're too tired
to think, let alone cook.
- Put children on a household duty roster, including cooking duties.
Even a five-year old can prepare vegetables and plan a simple
- At both work and home develop a 'Do it NOW' attitude. If you touch
something, complete with it. Don't shuffle 'stuff' from place to
- This one sounds a little outrageous, but I've used it with my six
children and husband to great effect! Sick of tidying up after family
members who won't put things away? Warn them beforehand of your
strategy. Then, any time you find mess in the kitchen, pots that
mysteriously missed the washing up, and clutter anywhere, put the
offending items in the middle of the floor in their bedroom or on
their bed. Shut the door and walk calmly away. A few messy people will
step over their debris, but most will be shamed into action.
- I've even heard of some parents who in desperation threw toys and
clothes in the rubbish bin (after numerous warnings of course).
- Don't be a perfectionist. So there are dust curls under the beds?
Who's looking? Will it matter in five years' time?
Have fun, and don't take life too seriously. We get no second chance.
About the author: Robyn Pearce, of TimeLogic
Corporation, has helped 1000's of folks in 'Getting a grip on their time'.
for FREE subscription to her email that includes "how-to"
practical time management assistance, books, tapes, products, and more.
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