I had the opportunity to attend a work/life balance seminar earlier this week. You know, every time I attend something like this I keep thinking that I'll be given a magic bullet so that I miraculously have balance in my life - doesn't happen! While there were no big revelations (it's like dieting, I know what I need to do I just don't do it) she did put up on the screen in big letters the word "discipline".
What's so hard about being disciplined? There are so many places in my life where I am that it frustrates me that there are areas where I am not. I am disciplined enough to get myself and my daughter up, dressed and to work/school on time. I am disciplined in filling up my gas tank before it runs out of gas - most of the time :) Why can't I be disciplined enough to leave work early enough for family dinners or to not completely crash on the couch every night when I could be organizing/cleaning/cooking ahead/exercising.
This is really where my not being wonder women complex comes in to play. Why can't I do it all? For the record, I have realized a long time ago I can't do it all but it still bugs me that I can't :) Some women seem to pull it off so easily and I always wonder why I can't. Lack of personal discpline really seems to be at the root of it (and the fact that I'm on the go so much that I'm completely exhausted by the end of the day)
Enough with the excuses! I have decided to make a few small changes to my life (I like to do things in small changes since I tend to do a little better) that will add some discipline.
-Modify my e-mail folders. I have known that Outlook has the 'rules' where you can tell your e-mails where to go but I don't utilize it to it's fullest extent. One of the women that I work with shared her style of prioritizing and I'm going to give it a try. Right now I get sooooo many e-mails a day and they mostly go into one bucket. Things tend to get buried and I don't respond as quickly to the important ones as I'd like. I'm going to set up folders by groups of senders so that the e-mails directly there. E-mails from other directors/VP's as well as my staff will have priority over the reports/audits and other miscellaneous reports. Hopefully this will work.
-Schedule family dinners on my work calendar. Due to our family schedule (dance, confirmation, son's work & social schedule, etc) we don't have a lot of days during the week to sit down together as a family for dinner. We do tend to have at least a day or two where we could make it work but I don't always manage to get home from work in time. I've decided to block out time on my calendar so I can leave on those days and get home to eat. I truly do believe eating together as a family is important so I'm hoping this will work. Now I'll just need to get disciplined about planning a meal!
-Make time for myself. As with all busy mothers I tend to be last on the list. This year I have really paid for it with weight gain. Last year I did so good with diet and exercise I felt like a million bucks. This year I've completely fallen by the wayside (or is that weighside?!?) so I'm hoping to be a little more disciplined in my 'selfishness'. I need to eat better, get regular massages (I know, a little extravagent but they really help me relax) and try to get some exercises.
As the speaker said, I'm the only one who can make my life be balanced. I'm hoping by trying to add more discipline to my life I'll be able to make this work. Life is to short to be stressed out and not enjoying those we care about.