October 17, 2007

Work/life balance - maybe this month?

Just in case I forgot to tell you - I got a new job. Yeah me!!!!! I was /am really happy because not only was it a new job, but also a promotion. Well of course, needless to say there was a crazy learning curve. And along with the pressures of a new job, a manic boss, and my slightly-A-type personality and need to do a fantastic job, it's been very hectic around these parts. I have not had a moment to really breathe since starting the job. So, the fact that we are celebrating/recognizing National Work & Family Month, comes at just the right time.

I have not had the best time balancing work and life recently, but I have discovered a few tips that are starting to make it a little better.

1. Bring a little work home - I know that most people say that this is a no-no. And I'm pretty sure that the experts will advise you to stay clear of this. But, this has bought me an extra hour with my family every day. Rather than staying at work to wrap up loose ends, read that last report, or send those last couple of emails, I've started bringing these things home with me and doing them after DD goes to bed at 8:30. Even if I work for an extra hour after she goes to bed, it's not as bad as staying at work for that extra hour and only seeing my DD for a little over one hour a day.

2. Use every minute of the work day wisely - I typically work from the time I get into the office to the time I leave. This is quite horrible and also probably ill-advised. But, I work a pretty hectic and demanding job that really requires about 11-12 hours per day. Because I don't want to put in those kinds of hours, I only work while I'm at work -- Very rarely do I check email, surf the net or talk on the phone. I've found that this approach allows me to put in an 8-9 hour day and get out and get home. The alternative approach is to work a strict 8 hour day and then come in for a few hours on the weekend. That sometimes works depending on the week; but I much prefer have my weekends to myself.
That brings me to my next tip...

3. The weekends are for you and your family - My weekends have been focused on spending time with DD and DH. We typically have breakfast together both Saturday and Sunday and then we hang out together for the rest of the weekend. Some days I take DD and the both of us just do our thing (well mainly, my thing). Other times, we hang out as a family and try to give everyone a little time to do what they like. The down side to this approach is that there is little time (really no time) for friends and family. And also very little time for yourself ... if you've got an idea about how to solve this, please share.

4. Use technology as much as possible - Strange tip coming from me considering that I only just got a cell phone a couple months ago (and guess what - I still don't use it - but I digressed). Back to the point, order online as much as possible. You can order and have almost anything shipped to you; and the things that you must pick up, check to see if you can cut the wait time by placing an advanced order. A cell phone (if used correctly) can allo you an extra few minutes on your ride home in the evening to chat with friends and family. Email/IM family and friends as well. I've started emailing my mom rather than waiting until the weekend for a half and hour phone call - who's got the time - so now we email during the week about everything.

5. Carpool with your husband, if possible - We're a two car family, but my car has been in the shop since last Monday, so we've been forced to carpool. Although it is tres inconvenient and I'm on the bus as a result, DH and I have had an extra fifteen minutes to connect. My tune may change next week after we try to kill each other because we've had too much of each other...I'll keep you posted!

Anyway folks...these few tips have been helpful to my over the past few weeks. Try one, try them all......let us know how it's working out for you.


Justice Jones said...

Great tips!

Justice Fergie said...

all great tips! and good for you for making ways to find a balance.

98% of my phone calls to friends/family are made on my way to/from work. everybody knows my "window" for calls - as soon as I pull up into my driveway, i gotta go! perfect reason to use your cell phone j.ny.

re. finding time for friends and family on the weekends? try to combine them. you and DD (and DH) can hang out with your friends who have kids/husbands. BUT i highly advise some girl time for you, either by yourself or with other girlfriends. i usually do this at least once a month on friday evenings with my moms group. we meet around 8pm so my girls are on their way to sleep anyway and i can have guilt-free mommy time until after midnight!

getting up the next morning is another story :)

Beth F. said...

Geeze, girl. You are busy, aren't you? I really like your tip about taking your work home for added family time, that does make sense.

You're such a good Mama.

Minivan mom said...

Great tips...unless you're in graduate school. :( Let me know how I separate work from family if you figure it out! Sigh.

Congrats on the new job and promotion!!

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