How To Balance Everything When Working From Home
Scratch that. I really just have one tip for you -
You can't do it all.
I say that with the utmost love and commiseration - because NO one can do it all. So if there is one thing I want you to take away from this post, it's a renewed sense of perspective - if you feel like you are drowning, like you are being pulled in too many directions, like there are too many things slipping through the cracks - you aren't alone. I think more of us than not feel this way, too.
Balance is a myth. A dangerous one. It tells us that we can have it all, if we were just better at multi-tasking or time management. It tells us in the most insidious way possible that we aren't enough. That we should be - the very notion of balance seems like something we should be able to accomplish - but I don't think such a thing exist. Life is about making choices. You can't have it all - and I don't say that to be negative. I say that to set you free. Because when you realize you can't have it all, you stop chasing after it all. And that allows you to focus on the things that are most important.
The things that are most important are going to be different for everyone. So please, please don't compare yourself to what anyone else is doing. Your competition is posting clever things to social media every single day? I guarantee you there is something she isn't doing in order to be able to do that. We all have to give and take.
The single question I get asked more than anything is how do I do it all? And the simple answer is, I don't. Yes, I am busy. My business is full time, and for that I am grateful. I have many projects and clients going at any given time. But that isn't the same thing as doing it all. There are plenty of things that fall through the cracks - for example, this blog post is the first I've written for this space in months. Which is pretty much the worst thing ever, both in terms of SEO and in terms of maintaining a connection with those who are reading this. I KNOW I would see more inquiries and make more client connections if I blogged more regularly.
But remember my tip up there? I can't do it all, either. Something has to give, and this blog space and social media is often what gives when I'm feeling that pinch of time. I've also learned to ask for help around the house. I hired a housekeeper last year that was life changing. My kids go to preschool and kindergarten, allowing me 3-4 full days of work each week. My husband is learning that he needs to step up and help out more. We have an amazing sitter who watches my girls so I can travel. I have incredible friends who watch my kids or picks them up or drink wine with me when I need a break. And even with all that support - I still struggle to do everything on my list each week, much less tackle the bigger yearly goals that I have.
And I simply don't - can't! - do it all.
So maybe this is the year that you've decided to ramp up your business, to make a solid go at it, to offer something new, or even just to sustain what you've got. Maybe you just want to get a better handle on your time so that you aren't yelling at your kids to leave you alone so you can work, or trying to decide if you can really get by on 5 hours of sleep a night.
Whatever your situation is - take this post as a sign that you aren't alone - that you can do it - but that you can't do it all. Give yourself the freedom to say no, to put some thing on the back burner, to just straight up not do something you are "supposed" to be doing.
And stop reading those blog posts that say if you just give up social media and make time to work out, that everything else will magically fall into place. There is no magic formula here. Everyone's situation is different, and what you can accomplish each day is going to look wildly different from what someone else can accomplish each day. Your business isn't the same as someone else's. Your family isn't the same. Your life and other commitments aren't the same. The only thing that we all have in common is that we are all working within a 24 hour day - but what that day looks like, the pulls and pinches on our time, are totally unique.
You know what you need to do, and you know what you actually CAN do. Focus on the CAN, and don't worry so much about the rest of the stuff. And know that I am right there with you.