“I need my shirt!”
“Get me this project by tomorrow morning.”
“Can we have your homemade lasagna for dinner tonight?”
Family needs you. Clients demand more than they should. And you have exactly zero time to do what inspires you most.
At the very least this is frustrating, but more often than not, it throws your life balance and your own schedule off. This letting everyone take away from you wears at your nerves and stresses you even more. You become resentful and short-tempered because of it.
All of this results in shouting at those closest to you over the tiny grains of spilled rice on the floor; giving up on doing the things that make you feel good because you just don’t have the energy to do them; and generally feeling bad about yourself.
So You Stop
You resolve yourself to doing what everyone else wants you to do. And, once again, you put yourself in the backseat.
Enter guilt and resentment.
The first thing to go is your workout. After all, it’s a selfish indulgence, right? And there’s no room for selfishness in your world right now because everyone else needs you.
The second thing to go is anything that you really, really wanted to do.
You Need Balance
You need to find that place where you can do it all. Because when it’s all done, you feel relaxed. At peace. Productive. Useful.
You need to find a way to do everything everyone wants you to AND be able to do what you want to do.
Sounds impossible, doesn’t it?
Well, it is.
And it isn’t.
Use these 5 Hacks to Strike a Liveable Balance
1. Accept what you can do and let go of what you can’t.
We all want perfect homes, to be awesome at our jobs, and to have the love and adoration of those around us. But, having everything is an unattainable goal that keeps the yucky feelings brewing. As long as you’re doing your best at everything you do, you have to be proud of yourself.
2. Set your routine and never let it go.
Once you have your home, your work and your personal life in routines, it all falls into autodrive and allows you to get more done than you’d ever thought possible.
For example, you have a set day that you clean the whole house and you have certain things that HAVE to be done everyday (like a load of laundry, exercising, and straightening the house before bed). So you make sure that you get them done. They’re your NON Negotiables. Choose three things to make your Non Negotiables and make sure you do them – Every. Day.
3. Rebuild your spirits with good food.
Yeah, I know, when you feel bad you just want to stuff that pie hole with whatever you have around. Chips, chocolate, soda. They all make you feel “better” when everyone else is against you, right? Eating them is doing the same thing that everyone else is – making you feel bad.
Eating whole, healthy foods bolsters you from the inside. They make you feel better AFTER you’ve eaten them (as opposed to junk that makes you feel better WHEN you eat them). Make whole food your food policy and stick to it. (Don’t worry, after a while, you’ll find that the next time you eat junk, you’ll feel gross from the time you put it in your mouth!)
4. Ask for help.
No man’s an island. And no successful company was ever run alone. It takes teamwork to make a machine run smoothly. Design your team so that everyone has a role that they’re assigned and they perform everyday. As the CCO of a household of five, this is the ONE thing that has helped me the most. Although it was harder in when the kids were smaller, it wasn’t impossible.
I created a handbook for each of them – before they could even read. Using pictures, they each had certain jobs they had to do each morning, afternoon, and night. They knew what they had to do before we left home, before they went to bed, after eating, everything. And we practiced it and practiced it. It took a long time for them to get into those habits, but since they did, it’s been a HUGE burden off my shoulders.
5. Keep a focus list close by at all times.
Each afternoon (not at night), take inventory of what HAS to be done the next day. Don’t include your routine or your Non Negotiables. Include only the special tasks and projects that you need to accomplish.
Review your Focus sheet when you wake up and check it again in the afternoon to tidy up any loose ends. Then, set it up for the next day.
The key to implementing these or any life changes is to do them one at a time. Focus on one change and implement it until it’s second nature before adding the next change.
Visit my Fit Freelancer Tool Box to get the same sheets I use to get everything done.
Tania Dakka, mom of three and freelancerpreneur, blogs at Fit Freelancer. She helps people thrive where life, fitness, and productivity collide.