All work and no play? When is it time to enjoy life? Are you searching for the work/life balance? I think everyone struggles at some point in their career to find that work/life balance. It does exist, and we know you want to make sure you put your family first. However, work is a means to an end, so you must be professional and learn how to work smarter, not harder.

“Life well spent is long.”  – Leonardo da Vinci

We are working moms, I have always been and my sister took ten years off raising her child before she went back to work.

As a working parent, we have to look for the good in what we do. With little recognition and little encouragement, try and concentrate on what you have achieved, not your mistakes. I live it every day, so let’s get this ball rolling. You can find balance in your life, it takes time and you have to be open to changes, but you can do it!

Key points to help you:

Work Balance:

  • Stay positive as much as possible.
  • Stay focused when at work! Critical!
  • BE SPECIFIC – One of our favorite books is called Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg (every woman must read it).  She says always be specific on what you need and what you want. Example, I met with a woman who just had a new baby six months prior. She went back to work and her husband started a new job and they both traveled about 75% of the time. This woman was a hot mess and feeling guilty and sad and exhausted. She wanted me to find her a new job. Honestly, she loved her job and company, she just couldn’t travel any longer. I suggested that she go talk with her bosses first, explain what was going on. She had been with the company over 10 years. She thought about it, we developed a plan to present and she did it. Guess what, they changed her job so she didn’t have to travel and three months later she loves what she is doing more and has a much better work/life balance. So, be specific.
  • Be organized and pay attention to details, this will help you succeed.
  • Remember, it’s a BUSINESS, don’t take everything so personal, it’s business!
  • Do your work, make your deadlines, set priorities and achieve your goals for your company.
  • Promote the positive environment as much as possible to others.
  • When others are negative, look for the positive in any situation (that’s the hardest part) teach them how to be more positive. Lead by example.
  • Workout and relieve your stress because it definitely will help. Some great examples include exercise, cooking with your kids, laughing often, letting go, dance and enjoying life to relieve stress.
  • Breathe, just breathe (great app called Headspace, try it when you need to decompress for five minutes at work or home).
  • See your projects through to completion. NEVER give up! Ask for help when you need help! We coach people all day long to ask for specific help or ask questions if you don’t understand. This will make you more successful (and your team or company).
  • Stand up for yourself! Don’t let anyone put you down!
  • Believe in your work and in yourself (others will believe in you if you believe in yourself). Conveying confidence is extremely important when working. Always be Confident!
  • Stay focused, positive and be upbeat, it will pay off (promise)!

Life Balance:

  • When you tell your partner or children you will be there at a certain time, make that commitment.
  • Don’t waste your time on guilty feelings, it is a waste of time. Use the time you have and focus on what you need to focus on, kids, dogs, partner, etc. It is the quality that matters. So many working women waste so much time on guilt, I know I did and guess what, it doesn’t matter, I was present when they needed me and when I was home and that is what they remember.
  • Communicate to your partner, spouse or lover, make sure they understand your work life (keep them involved, it will help).
  • Make sure you bring your significant other to work functions, be proud of them, and help your partner to comprehend your work life.
  • Take your children to work. I bring my son by the office to meet my coworkers. Even though he doesn’t understand all of it, it helps to see what his parent does each day.
  • Keep your commitments (to friends and others) it’s easy to blow them off but don’t do it, you will be thankful that you didn’t!
  • Make a list of tasks you need to complete for the week, do them on your lunch hour, early morning or after work:
    • Running errands
    • Working out/exercising
    • Yearly checkup
    • Dentist appointment
  • Even more important is planning your week is just as critical in your home life if not, more in important then your work life:
    • Workout schedules
    • Children’s after school activities
    • Church activities
    • Date night
    • Planning meals for the week
    • Get all schedules on one calendar and plan each week appropriately (get organized)
  • Another key point is to breathe and pause when needed (this works).
  • Make time for your children, spouse, friends and/or lover. Fun play time is always important.

Through this slow economy, be prepared, network, be positive and always know your friends. In other words, it’s important to work through the hard times because the good times are coming. Work through the chaos of life and it will make you stronger in the end. Don’t let your work consume you; because it’s not worth it because in the end, your family and friends are going to be there for you through the good and the bad.

Having a work/life balance is critical to be successful (professionally and personally). You can do it, remember, it’s about planning, communicating, commitment and having fun.