I am a Mom of two girls – ages 6 and 4. I am also a Hillsdale dentist, wife, daughter, cook, family organizer, classroom volunteer, triathlete, and editor. I am a Type-A overachiever and will say yes to any good opportunity. Like many of you, during the week I work full time and regularly have meetings and/or study club events in the evenings. My husband is a saint. Every Sunday he is used to getting the weekly run down of my commitments and when I may actually be home for dinner.
As professionals, the work-life balance is something we struggle with every day. I think I am probably like most working parents who feel like you are forever coming up short when it comes to doing enough, giving enough, and being enough for your family and your professional life.
It’s a New Year and my resolution is to be better at this whole work-life balance phenomenon. With that I will share a few thoughts that have helped me and that will hopefully be of benefit to you too:
Letting Go of Perfectionism
You wear many hats, and you can’t wear them all perfectly. One of the hardest parts of achieving work-life balance is recognizing that we’ll never have it all. That is, we’ll never make it to every social event while working extra hours and serving home-cooked meals every night. Once we have decided which responsibilities and relationships you find most important, it’s all about prioritizing. So cut yourself some slack when it comes to other achievements in your personal and professional life, and remind yourself that you’re making progress where you believe it really counts.
We are constantly accessible with today’s technology. All these tools are designed to improve our productivity and our lives overall. But when these gadgets make us feel like we’re supposed to be responding to work emails or finishing up projects at home, it can be overwhelming! Manage all this technology-induced stress by unplugging for a little while or by setting limits on when and where to use it. Resist the urge to check the office email.
As busy professionals we have little “me” time. We all know exercise is good for our health, but it’s also a great stress reducer. Don’t feel guilty about your time working on yourself.
Change the Structure of Your Life
Find out what your personal and professional needs are and prioritize. Focus on the commitments you value most. Get rid of the elective ones.
Pursue your Passions
Just because you’re working a lot doesn’t necessarily mean your life isn’t awesome. I hope most of us love our jobs, so much so that we’re willing to spend hours brainstorming, emailing, and sitting in meetings and continuing education courses. If it makes you happy to bring your laptop or cases home and continue working on them after dinner because you feel like you’re making a difference in your world or you simply love the work, go for it!
Lastly, hug your spouse and thank them for all that they do for you. At least for me – I couldn’t do this all without them.
Happy New Year! Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2016!