How do you balance your work and personal life? That is the question I get asked at least 3-5 times a week. Followed by, “Where do you get the energy?” I really don’t know the answer to that. But, I thought I would try to offer a few tips that help put some sort of tools and healthy practices together. I hope this can help our lovely Latinas discover ways to devote more time and energy around things they love and with people that matter the most too.
I know as Latinas we tend to take on more than others and juggle more than we should. This causes us to feel overworked and finding less time for ourselves. Our jobs can often become demanding and if we have children and husbands, to-do lists get longer and longer (ya tu sabes).
Have you seen that movie “I don’t know how she does it?”- That movie really puts our lives out there. Check out the trailer posted on the web. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/27/sarah-jessica-parker-how-does-she-do-it-trailer_n_867879.html
They should have asked a Latina to play the role that Sarah Jessica Parker plays! LOL- I sure feel like we are prime examples of the multi-tasker! Ok, I am just kidding, but really, when I am around my family I see how busy these mujeres are.
So, how do we do it? I heard that some of the busiest people have the most time. Know why? Because they seem to know how to manage it better. I am still learning, but think a few tips may help. Sometimes we don’t have control over the hours we have to work, but we do have control with what we do with the time we have after. Focus your attention and time to the things you can control and bring order to that place. That’s a great place to start.
Take a look at these tips and see if they can offer some help.
1. Actually put downtime in your calendar. Schedule in your smart phone!
When you are planning out your week with your boss or work, plan your downtown at that time too. Fill your calendars with time for yourself, children and friends. This will help you see it on your phone and get you excited about your fun “appointments”. I also put yoga in my schedule and time with the girls, so that time is saved and I can plan around it. This will also help you with NOT canceling. NO One likes those friends who always cancel. Trust me, this works.
This will also teach and train you how to manage your time better. I tend to work in 30 minute increments. When you’re on your date or out with the chica’s, whip out your calendars and plan the next one right then and there. This really works and gives your relief.
I go to church every Sunday with my husband, and I put that on my calendar and use my notes in my iPhone to schedule the rest of the week around his schedule.
Lately I have been going to school at night Mon-Thursday from 6-9pm, this made me do my work-out at 6am and cook all my meals on the weekend for the week. I log all this in and it keeps me on track.
2. Stop doing things that don’t deserve your time and zap your Zen.
I know a lot of people that do things because they feel bad or they don’t want to say no to an invitation. Then they go to a networker and their energy is low or they seem “not interested” or engaged. STOP it! People can tell when you don’t want to be somewhere. It’s like when you go to Wal-Mart and the cashier doesn’t smile and barely talks to you and gets rude. I am thinking “WHY are you working here?” Don’t be that person. Say No Thank You and move on to those things that you really want to do.
Don’t spend time at work walking around, chatting with the neighbor cubical or office mate. This can suck your good energy and de-motivate you to not do your job and get things done. Sometimes I go into the office after a nice yoga class and have a smile on my face. Then, I turn and hear the “FUN SUCKERS” complaining about their lunch or computer problems or something so small that isn’t worth the group conversation. WALK AWAY from that and get focused. I am not saying you shouldn’t care about your colleagues, offer advice or just keep moving and avoid the negativity.
Try to win your War early- go to work and do the things you hate the most first. I hate my expense reports. I sit there and see them in my inbox. The thought of doing them weighs on my mind and it’s hard to overcome. Now, I go in 30 minutes early and do them first. Then, I am so productive the rest of the day and happier!
I also suggest that you limit your time on social media and web surfing. Schedule time for this during your lunch or early morning, works really well. You can read your news with your coffee, maybe a quick lunch check in and once more before you leave. DONE. Don’t get stuck in these bad habits.
3. Organize yourself- developing a routine with your errands and simplify
Think about the everyday errands you do, can someone else do or can you hire someone to do them? There are a ton of online services that offer shopping easy and that can help your time spent on running around from place to place.
For example, Dry cleaning- can you have a service pick up from your office? We do. This helps a ton. Think of the time and gas spent if you actually take yourself and compare the price of a service picking up from your office.
I also take time to think about everything on my to-do list and organize around my schedule. Example: If I have an 8am meeting outside the city, I look to see if I can work out in the same area or if there are other things that I can do in that area that are near.
Example: I had a dentist appointment 30 minutes away from home, I have a friend that I needed to drop off something to that lived in that area and I still needed to work out for the day. So, I scheduled my dentist apt at 8am, dropped off the dress to my friend, worked out during my lunch and headed to my next appointment in the same area. Saved time, gas and headaches!
Another tip helps with meals (if you cook). Pick a two hour window on Sundays to cook and portion your meals. I do this for me and my hubby for the week. I cook all the turkey/ chicken and veggies and portion them out in containers to take to work. This also allows me to have dinner options for my hubby when I work late.
4. Work- Out.
I know this is hard. Boy, do I know. But, when you start small you can work yourself into some sort of routine that doesn’t have to be extreme. Actually, working out gives you more energy and that is what you will need to stay productive and active. This will help you concentrate and feel sexy.
Start with a WALK. Maybe a daily stroll during lunch for 30 minutes. Other small starts can be 30 minute ON Demand work out or a class at your local gym. Something is better than nothing.
There are plenty of APPS now on our phones that can help find a motivational program.
Of course I favor a group work out like www.rockstarfitcamps.com because I have someone showing me what to do and I can work out with music. They offer Morning classes and classes at night and on Saturdays…with 7 locations, I have plenty of options.
A work out can include mediation- this goes a LONG way. Try it. People really don’t know that working out has a lot to do with your breathing. Just sitting and breathing can give you some relief. I suggest you do something you love and use that as your work out. Biking, walking, swimming, dancing, these are things most people enjoy. Just get moving
5. Quiet time- Get some
Now, I think this is probably the hardest thing to do for busy ladies. We tend to fill our cup until it runs over. We literally have to sit down and create some quiet space for us to relax, reflect and to soothe our soul. Don’t freak out thinking about it too much. Start small. Wake up a few minutes early and sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea before the sun rises. Or leave the office right at 5, don’t stay late and go get your nails done or go home and do nothing.
Putting some thought into this will allow you to schedule time doing things that are more important to you. Reading, long baths, spa days, listening to some great playlists or even time with your bestie.