On March 8th, I attended the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce’s International Women’s Day breakfast. Their panel included 3 impressive and inspiring women (read about the event here: http://bit.ly/1QMn6FK). One comment was made that really struck a chord with me. When asked; “What is it like to work with almost all men?”, Jessica Taylor responded; “I don’t know. What’s it like to work with almost all women?” – cue the laughter. The point is, you only know what you know.
I often get the old; “OK, so wait, you run a start up, play in a band and have your own photography business…how do you manage?” This week alone, our band booked 6 gigs, my photography business has 26 mini sessions coming up this weekend and StaffStat, our software company, introduced some enhancements to our customers and took some big strides with our first potential corporate contract. Beyond these commitments, I’m a mom of 2, wife of 1 (heh heh) and I’ve got some pretty great friends that I love spending time with. I sit on the Board of the Sudbury Women’s Centre and our inaugural fundraising/friendraising event was held last night. Yes, at times it feels overwhelming but honestly speaking, it’s all I know. I’ve always had a full plate! I love everything I do and when your life is filled with things you love, it’s easy to be positive, love life and feel balanced.
Back to: how do I manage? Some of my “work/life” balance rules include:
- Ditch the guilt – Again, if you keep things in your life that you love, there is nothing wrong with you putting them on your plate. Things that fulfill you, things that make you happy…those are good things! Make room for them and don’t apologize. Will you have to let go of some of the things, people, commitments that don’t make you happy? Likely. The outcome; imagine a life filled with positivity. Should you let feelings of doubt and guilt prevent you from pursuing positive activities? For me, the answer is a solid ‘no’.
- Nobody’s going to ‘give’ you the time – Some people think to themselves, ‘I need more time’. Newsflash: for as long as I can remember, there are only 24 hours in a day. If you feel like you need more time, you need to make time. Yes, time management and task management are the key (more on that later). However, this goes back to my earlier point; will you have to axe out some of your current, low on return activities? Absolutely. ie. If you hate cleaning your home and you never have the time, hire someone to come in and clean. That feeling of walking into a clean and organized home is worth the $100-$150 you pay per week to get it done.
- If you commit, commit – If I say I’m going to do something, I do it. If I find myself not wanting to do it, I know it’s time to cut it out of my life. The agony of dragging myself somewhere I don’t want to be is just not worth my energy. If that’s the case, say no! Pass the baton to someone else who would find the event, meeting or activity beneficial. Know yourself enough to understand what’s worth your time and what isn’t.
- Pick a time management trick that works for you – I run a software company, but yes, I still have a day planner that I write in, with a pen! It works for me. It’s not always a perfect science for me. I’ve tried time blocking, an online schedule but I always find my way back home to my lovely Passion Planner. It’s what works for me for time management. Now, task management is a whole other ball game for me! I love apps that trigger me to bring tasks to completion; an app called “gTasks” works for me. Like anything else, once you get used to using it, it becomes second nature. If you think an app might work for you and help keep you on top of everything, visit the app store and play! Try out different task managers and find the one that’s right for you.