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Wellbeing / Work life balance

Work life harmony: I want to get off!

I used to be so good at work life harmony. I committed myself to tasks with a relaxed yet dedicated fashion and was productive and happy. Then that all changed.

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If I could meet the woman from back then, I’d love to wipe the smug grin off her face and give her a dose of the adrenalin that’s plagued me of late.

You see I’ve become so busy. I know everyone is. Indeed it’s a badge of honour for many, but not for me.

I work part time and coparent two young girls, neither of whom are tricky kids. I am well organised and competent, or thought I was. I enjoy great support from my partner, my colleagues, my clients and community.

"Lately, I calculate there are 25% more things to do than there is time to do it in."

But I’m still overwhelmed by the sense that there’s more to do than will ever be done.

Lately, I calculate there are 25% more things to do than there is time to do it in. As it is I am up at 6.30 and do not stop until gone 11pm. Something has to give, so here’s what I’m going to do:

Want more articles like this? Check out the work-life-balance section.

  1. Pick my battles. Stressing over undone jobs is a luxury I cannot afford at the moment.
  2. Lower my standards. If my two year old has toast for dinner occasionally it’s not going to do her any harm. Ditto the odd takeaway for us.
  3. Celebrate the small things. If, at the end of the day, I have managed a pleasant client interaction, ticked off a work task or two, have a semi tidy home and children that are fed, clean and asleep, then that’s pretty good going.
  4. Stop striving for order. Young children create chaos. You can’t wish that away, or you’d wish away them. Not good.
  5. Take two hours a week to do something self-centred and do it without guilt or apology.
  6. Strive to get back to smugness. I should be on my way to that by the time you read this, as Flying Solo’s new website – a big, big project right now – will be running smoothly. Won’t it?!

I reckon one of the great mysteries of modern life is: how did we become so overscheduled? Why is downtime not considered valuable? Is spreading yourself thin the only way you can be deemed a useful and productive member of society?

What I really want to know, dear reader, is: Is it just me, or does anyone else want to get off? Share your thoughts on work life harmony below.

Sam Leader

is a former director of Flying Solo and the co-author of Flying Solo - How to go it alone in business.

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