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.
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.
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:
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- Pick my battles. Stressing over undone jobs is a luxury I cannot afford at the moment.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stop striving for order. Young children create chaos. You can’t wish that away, or you’d wish away them. Not good.
- Take two hours a week to do something self-centred and do it without guilt or apology.
- 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.