Alternate title: I Suck at Balance
This feels like hard post to write because this site is called “Get Mom Balanced” and the premise is that I help you create balance. Well guess what? Sometimes I seriously suck at balance. And usually I have this blog to blame thank for that. For many months I wanted to create this site as a place for moms to come together, find support and hopefully find more balance.
Because it is HARD.
It is hard to juggle everything and to feel like you’re doing it well. So I was thrilled when the site finally launched and the ball started rolling. However, it didn’t take long for the blog and working on it to become a bit all-consuming. And suddenly I felt the most un-balanced I have in a long time. Here’s a quick guide to sucking less at balance.
Here’s what goes on in my world that causes me to suck at balance. Can you relate?
I am on my phone or computer constantly- updating social media, responding to emails, working on posts, getting connected with other bloggers and moms…it is seriously unending and seems to grow exponentially. And the thing is, I like it- a lot.
But the problem is, the amount of time I have to work without kids is far less than the time that I need. So what happens? I sneak those moments in. I don’t have a large chunk of time, to I use lots of little chunks of time. It feels like I’m always working. And since my kids are home with me most of the time, I work when my kids are home. And then they get annoyed. And then I get annoyed. And then I write a post like this.
So, I decided to write this because it’s ironic that in creating a blog about balance I become completely unbalanced. However, it’s also a great reminder that I need to practice what I preach. The overwhelming, all-consuming stage could continue if I let it, but instead I am sharing with you my first four steps to help create more balance whenever you’re dealing with an exciting or hectic time:
I have found myself with so many options for groups to get involved with, ways to promote and ways to connect, blogs to reach out to, and more. All of this could easily eat away at hours and hours and who knows what the ROI will be.
Instead of continuing to find more and more options and places to connect with, I am going to take some time to research and figure out which of those options really are best for me at this time. Then I will focus on those and not add others in unless they are REALLY good. This will help me be more focused and feel confident that I am using my time well.
What does this means for you?
Take a look at your life; what is going on and what is most important? It will all feel important but try to be objective. Decide which of your tasks are important now and which can move to the back burner permanently, or just for now.
2. Say “no”
Prioritizing is going to lead to me declining or not taking advantage of other options. For example, I don’t need to be in every blog share group on Facebook- this isn’t an actual good use of my time. So instead of being a member but ignoring them (and probably checking them anyway), I’m actually going to remove myself from any group that does not fit what I’m looking for.
Now there will be less to be distracted by as I’m focusing in on my priorities. I also need to remember that not every option will be a good one and it is okay to say no. (Here’s another post for you if you need help saying no!)
What does this mean for you?
When you’re first starting out in a job or new role, it’s easy to want to say yes because you feel like it could be a good opportunity, it won’t come around again, you want to show you’re a professional, etc. But, the truth is, by saying yes to everything as it comes your way, you’ll either reach a point of saturation where you can’t take on more and you miss a really good opportunity, or you end up doing a shitty job at some or all of the things you’ve agreed to.
Maybe both happen.
Regardless, you’re not able to put your best work forward, you probably won’t feel great about it, and you’re no longer putting your best professional foot forward.
3. Create better ways of getting organized
People who know me in real life will tell you I am extremely organized. And generally that’s true. However, when it’s come to this venture, I go through periods of extreme unorganization. I am making it a priority to come up with new systems to create and maintain organization.
Yes, this takes time, but flying by the seat of my pants just doesn’t work. I realized that something needed to change when I saw my scribbled note that told said “link party- from last week- contact.” Umm…okay. I could barely remember last week but vaguely remembered connecting with someone on a Facebook post about a link party she ran. (For those of you wondering what a “link party” is, I’m new to it, but I think it’s basically where other bloggers share links to posts and help promote).
The problem was, I had no idea what the name of the link party was, whose site it was attached to, or even where I had connected with the person. And the name of that person? No idea! I could have ignored it, but the professional in me didn’t want to drop the ball when I said I would follow up. Being a member of over 20 different groups, I could have connected with someone anywhere. I wasted so much time searching to figure out what that note meant.
I finally found the information, looked into it further and realized it wasn’t that great of an option for me. So, if I had been better at prioritizing, I probably would have said no to this already. Instead, I wasted a bunch of time, kicked myself for being so unorganized, and realized I need to be organized. This is a work in progress for me since blogging is a new endeavor, and for someone who likes to be organized, it’s a bit frustrating. But I’ll get there.
What does this mean for you?
We all have ways of being organized (or unorganized) in our daily life. Take a few moment to look at what’s working and what isn’t. If you feel organized at work but not at home, can you use any of your work systems to help you? If the opposite is true, learn from your home life and apply it to work.
Though it’s easy to just keep moving forward, sometimes we need to stop and take time to organize before we continue on.
4. Check social media less often
As I sit here writing, I’ve heard about 20 “dings” to let me know about updates on Facebook (there’s one more), I’ve had a twitter notification and I bet if I click over to Pinterest, I’ll have updates there as well. My mentality has been to deal with these updates/shares/notifications as I go but what that has led to is me being online ALL DAY LONG.
This is bad for so many reasons but most importantly, it’s leading to imbalance with my kids. So, I am going to work on creating pockets of time where I look at and deal with everything at once. I think this will be a harder habit to create but I am going to work on it. Being organized with daily tasks helps me with this as well.
What does this mean for you?
Whatever your job, many of us spend too much time on our phones and on the internet. There’s no judgment about this because I am probably more guilty of it than you. But for all of us, I think we can take the time to look at how much time we spend on social media and technology. If it’s useful, purposeful, and focused, then that’s important to know and maintain. But, if it’s pointless, endless, and becomes a huge time-suck, it’s probably time to cut back.
Need more support to suck less at balance?
If you’d like some assistance with working through these steps and hearing about the first step that leads into these, download the guide to sucking less at balance.
I’m sure there are a lot more steps that I will take to help rectify the unbalance that has been happening over here, but after giving it a lot of thought, I think these are the four most important steps for me right now. Hopefully I can suck a little less at balancing after I put these into motion. And maybe you’ll find one that can help you create more balance in your life even if the cause of your imbalance is something completely different.
Hopefully this post lets you know that you are definitely not alone in struggling to balance it all. Ideally you have a few thoughts on making changes to that. The important point to remember is that when we’re feeling unbalanced, that’s a great reminder to pause and adjust.
So, let me know- what adjustments will you be making to help create more balance?