How's Your Time Management Routine?
Work-life harmony. It’s the new buzz phrase for people, especially women, that are seeking work-life balance. Since it’s impossible to achieve balance between work and life (for many women, myself included, it has felt more like, “Hold on for dear life and make all the things happen at once.”
Got time management skills?
Welcome Bad@ss Guest: Amber Lewter
In many ways there are limits to how much control women have over work culture and how their partner chooses to parent or house keep. #TimeManagementSkills
A more evolved concept is that there must be harmony between work and personal life. How realistic this is depends largely on the the systemic factors (employer’s expectations/culture at the office and a partner’s involvement with responsibilities at home/with parenting) in a woman’s life. In many ways there are limits to how much control women have over work culture and how their partner chooses to parent or house keep. However, the everyday choices we make impact those systems more than we realize. What may seem like small, insignificant details can, over time contribute powerfully to the dynamics, expectations and value within our homes and offices.
Here are 5 ways to achieve work life harmony by reducing over-functioning and empowering others around you to own their contributions to the community.
Stop splitting the difference
Try stating the shared goal (“ I know we both want _______) and asking the other person for suggestions (“Do you have any ideas on how we could make that happen, together?).
You might be surprised by the great solutions proposed by the other person. And few people buy into solutions they aren’t a part of creating, so even if you “solve” the problem on your own and tell the other person the solution, while they may smile and nod to what you’re saying, it’s unlikely that they are emotionally invested. And occasionally an impasse is the solution. Sometimes it’s not your job to resolve the tension and make things better for everyone.
Double down on your priorities
This means getting super clear on what matters and even more clear on what doesn’t. Anything that feels like an obligation, a hassle or generally not a good use of your time--ditch it. Focus on the things you give attention to then allow it to grow and strengthen over time. If you are attending to 10 different things they will each grow a little, rather than attending to 2-3 things that can grow exponentially over time.
Next time, if you find yourself setting up a playdate with that neighbor whose kid is mean to yours, getting a sitter to go to bookclub even though you hated the book or don’t really click with the other people there, or offering to pitch in on a project at work that’s not directly related to your work--- slow down and ask yourself if it’s a priority and is it the best use or your time.
If not, feel free to give a whole-hearted “no” rather than a strained or resentful “yes.”
Letting go of the non-essentials will renew your energy and enthusiasm for the vital parts of your life.
Model to others how you want to be treated by how you treat yourself.
People determine how valuable your time, energy and attention are by the way you treat it. If you want other people to respect your time, set healthy boundaries around it. This means doing things like not answering work e-mails after a set time ( this could be after 7 PM, or between 5 PM and 9 PM, or on weekends), unless it’s a genuine emergency. It means that if a co-worker says something rude or offensive to you communicating that you’re not interested in “being nice” to them despite it; either confront them in a healthy non-threatening way or choose to limit your communication to exclusively work related convo.
You (your time, your energy, your contribution) deserves respect and appreciation.
It’s your right and opportunity to communicate you know this by how you do (and do not) engage others when they have disrespected your contribution.
Nobody is entitled to your time and headspace.
Empower others around you by carrying less of the “mental load”
By nature women are amazing multi-taskers, our brains are wired to attend to multiple things and people at the same time (think cavewomen that needed to care for children, cook meals, and be on watch for wild animals that could eat the family all at once).
So it’s becomes second nature to anticipate the needs of the group and others. But this becomes a problem when the people around you (anyone over the age of about 7-8 years old) begin expecting the women in their lives to remember things for them.
This looks like:
- Buying a birthday gift for your mother-in-law because your husband always “forgets” its his mother’s birthday
- Your 10 year old repeatedly forgets her gym clothes and expects you to drive them to the school for her
- Sending multiple reminders to your boss that you’re going on vacation and someone else needs to buy office supplies that week.
Let the people in your life find their own power by not needing you to save them from or prevent their mistakes (uncomfortable learning opportunities). It is a favor to them and to you, truly.
Start choosing power over force
I like to save the best for last, because this is more important thing anyone can do in their life to feel better immediately.
Power is based in universal truths and respect for/acceptance of differences and is in the best interest of everyone.
Force is when a person or group attempts to make another person or group do what they want by using fear, intimidation or threats.
Choosing power over force looks like; letting go of the need to be approved of or even understood, being willing to do what is right for you even though someone else might be disappointed. Or simply accepting the limit of what is possible in the moment without needing to change it. When you are operating from a place of power you are in your integrity and your words and actions are aligned with your core values. When you are operating from trying to apply force you are needing others to see things your way or get their approval/understanding on where you are coming from.
This doesn’t mean you have to be rude or callous, but rather it means the opposite. It means you can be loving and set limits at the same time. You can choose what’s best for you and in doing so you are doing what’s best for the other person, because neither of you will be served if you are not showing up as your best, integrity-based selves.
Want to learn more about your “love style” and how you show up in relationships? Take the quiz here.
If you’re a working mother know that whatever you are doing, you’re doing a great job! This is a completely new role for humans; to provide, nurture and sustain life with only two adults in a home. In our modern society where both parents work and do parenting/housework everyone is taking on too many tasks than is realistic for one human. So no matter how well you feel like you’ve found work-life harmony know that your role in the world is more challenging than nature ever intended.
You’re not crazy or doing poorly. Too much is being asked of you or expected from you.
No matter how well you feel like you’ve found work-life harmony know that your role in the world is more challenging than nature ever intended. #DontDoItAlone
Our Bad@ss Guest:
Amber Lewter, LPC is a couples' therapist and relationship coach in Atlanta, GA. She is the creator of the Love Acumen ™ methodology and the Love Style Quiz. Learn about your unique strengths, challenges, and opportunities in relationships today!
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