Updated: Dec 22, 2022
Have you ever said, "I'm juggling so many things at the moment", or "I need more work-life balance"? If you answered "yes" or know someone who has, this article is for both of you.
If you're juggling family work or studies, study- and work-life balance is not the solution.
You're not a clown in a circus act. You need to stop trying to 'juggle' and 'balance' things. You're a Mum in a busy world. You need a strategy for your sanity. A way of making decisions that align with what's important to you. A process for living in alignment with who you are. You need a lifestyle that breeds success, not stress. That's why I'm writing to you. To share ideas, stories, and strategies that will inspire and show you how to create a study and work lifestyle you love.
Here are 3 Simple Steps to start building that Study-Work-Lifestyle you want to wake up and walk into every day.
STEP 1 - Categorise
STEP 2 - Prioritise
STEP 3 - Schedule
But before you start climbing those steps, let me explain where this will lead you.
Step 1 CATEGORISE
Everyone's got a list of to-dos.
You might carry it in your head, on your phone or written on paper. And if it's not getting done, it's probably getting you down.
Often, we have so much to do that we try to split ourselves between our different roles and responsibilities. But you and I both know that separating yourself and staying functional is impossible. So, instead, we split our minds because we cannot physically split our bodies to do different things simultaneously. We develop "split personalities" because of the stress of conflicting and competing interests.
Here's an example of what split personalities of stress might look like.
You start your daily tasks being nice and calm. But, towards the afternoon, you are becoming irritable. And, by the end of your day, you're having 'unexpected' or routine outbursts over something of little significance. You might even feel guilty, apologise, become overly nice, get annoyed again, and the cycle repeats. You become moody. Underneath all that multitasking or juggling is a split personality waiting to burst through and ruin somebody's day.
That's why it's time to turn your list of to-dos into clear categories.
You're one person with many roles. As I see it, there are four main roles as a mum. Your Personal role. Your Professional role. Your Parenting role. Your Partnering role. So, instead of creating a list of to-dos, group your daily tasks into four categories based on these roles. Creating these different categories ensures that you address something in that area of your life daily. You get clarity on the parts that are getting too much or not enough of your love and attention.
STEP 2 PRIORITISE
All things are not created equal.
This includes the items on your to-do list (which you have hopefully split into categories by now). Some things are nice-to-do, others you need-to-do, but there are fewer must-dos. The must-dos are the most important activities on your to-do list. These are essential things to achieve a specific goal or outcome you desire in an area of your life, e.g. personal, partnering etc.
Example must-dos might include:
'15 minute walk' to re-energise your body.
'Sign up for trial group fitness training' to strengthen your muscles and tighten your wobbly bits.
'Book a Dentist appointment' for your partner because their toothache is becoming your headache.
An example of a nice-to-do is:
'Check Facebook' to see the number of likes on your latest post.
It's also important to note that tasks are not equally important between your four categories or roles. Comparing what's essential between the different areas of your life is like comparing apples to oranges. It's an unfair comparison. This means that although a work task may not seem as important as a personal task, it may be the top priority in that area of your life.
So, after you categorise your to-do list (Step 1), rank tasks in each category in order of importance (Step 2). Aim to complete each role's top priority task before moving on to the second most important tasks.
In essence, prioritise what gets done separately for each category.
STEP 3 SCHEDULE YOUR PRIORITIES
You are one person playing different roles in your life.
Hopefully, you've also accepted that you are not a superhero with superpowers (to do it all) …although that would be nice. We all have 24 hours in a day, and that's all any of us are getting. But, although you can't always do it all, you can do the things that are important to you.
However, even the important things are less likely to get done if you don't schedule them.
That brings us to Step 3. Schedule your priorities. Write the specific time you plan to "make like a tennis shoe and Just Do It!"
So there you have it.
Step 1 Categorise your tasks
Step 2 Prioritise within categories
Step 3 Schedule your priorities
Try this simple 3-step solution today. It will lead you to a Study- and Work-Lifestyle of success, not stress. You'll feel like a different woman.
In fact, you'll feel so good you'll be the kind of woman who'll want to click here and take these next 5 steps...