Who doesn’t want it all? I have yet to meet a person–lazy or ambitious–who has denied wanting it all. One person’s “all” may differ from another’s, but we all desire good health, wealth, and maybe even someone to keep us warm at night.
Trying to devise the perfect work-life balance is seemingly impossible. Trying to do all things, and be “every woman” has caused me to flounder like a fish out of water in every area of my life. I thought that fewer Post-it notes in my purse, car, night stand, and planner that I only look at to keep track of how many more days till the weekend, was evidence that I was becoming more organized.
In my world, fewer Post-it notes equate 1500 (and counting) e-mails–with at least one-third sent from me, to me with reminders to check on this activity or that event. In my disillusioned little world, I am Chaka Khan. Otherwise known as “every woman.” And under the belief that it is indeed “all in me.” My reality is that fewer Post-it notes only signify that there is a growing pile of dated magazine articles ripped from the pages of some of my favorite glossies all promising to instruct me how to teach my child to master Singapore Math, or trick my husband into speaking my love language, or get the perfect fleeky eyebrows in 5-steps or less.
Walking briskly, ignoring phone calls, splurging on 2-in-1 facial cleansers and shampoos, and outerwear that can be worn on Monday and used as a floating device on Thursday, does very little to increase productivity and decrease stress. If anything it results in one skittish, exhausted, and frumpy looking shell of woman. Not very Chaka Khan-like at all. I tried doing all of these things, minus the outerwear bit. I do have my limits, and wearing a coat that doubles as a floating device is one of them. In the end I found myself still exhausted, still fairly unproductive.
After experiencing some burnout and dissatisfaction with my productivity in my personal, professional and side-hustle life, I’m re-evaluating my priorities, my processes, and my purpose.
If I were a writer full of ingenuity here’s where I would insert a clever listicle guiding readers to The Promised Land of work-life balance. If I were, then I would…instead I’ll fight the waning need to be clever and give you the real: Pull it together!
Merge personal and professional life. If there is a work deadline on the same day as your child’s science project or recital, keep track of home and work events all on one calendar or planner. I’ve spent too much time ineffectively managing two planners and bringing far less than my best self to my home and work life. Merging calendars will help prompt bringing your complete self to the home and the workplace. Sounds too simple to work, but give it try.
Timelines, deadlines, flexibility, and inflexibility serve a purpose! Remember this when scheduling and organizing the ONE planner. Be unforgiving in taking time for self, time for work, and time for family.
There’s only 24 hours in a day! Do more of what you are called to do, and less of what others tell you you should do. Don’t waste hours waiting for others to come into agreement on your vision and what you have been called to do. If by the end of the day something important has not been completed or reviewed, then take that as a hint that not everything on your list of “important” things should be a priority. The number of hours in a day won’t change. You, however, can.