Have you jumped on the “mindfulness” wave yet? A recent Huffington Post article stated that “2014 has been called the ‘year of mindful living,’ and in the past several months, mindfulness has made headlines in seemingly every major print publication and news site.” There is even a new magazine, Mindful, which “celebrates the basic human ability to be fully present and aware of where we are and what we’re doing.” Read More →
Earlier this summer I wrote about my kids being away for two weeks visiting my parents, and how I went overboard in scheduling my “extra” free time. Thus, when the kids recently took another trip to visit their grandparents on my husband’s side, I was determined to be much more strategic with my time. I only scheduled two outings, including one social gathering and one date night with my husband. The rest of the time I worked, relaxed, and tackled a very long to-do list of things that I never get to when the kids are around. I really made a lot of progress, but at the end of the week, I found myself feeling disappointed that there still was so much left to do. I wondered why I couldn’t feel happy that I had nearly an entire week to focus on getting things done? Surely I had achieved something! Read More →
Did you know that earlier this month was “Simplify Your Life Week”? I discovered there are an entire host of special theme days, weeks, and months that I knew nothing about, such as this one. If you are curious what else is out there, check out this website listing silly, strange, and serious holidays and awareness days throughout the year.
Now back to this week’s tip…I love the idea of simplifying life. Or as a recent headline touted this past week “The Best Productivity Trick of All: Do Less”. Simplifying one’s life is an especially good reminder as our children head back to school, and we dive head first into a new school year. Let’s not fill up our schedules as well as our children’s to the point of insanity (which admittedly is something I’m working on). Read More →
Recently I wrote an article for FlexJobs.com on 6 Steps to Improve Work Life Integration. Step 3, after reframing work life balance and defining balance, involves revisiting your career and life values. Why is this important for work life balance?
What Are Values?
Values can be defined as important and lasting beliefs, priorities, and standards that guide our behavior and decisions. As children, we watch our parents, other adults, and society model different values to us, and we try these on for size. Eventually we come up with our own set of ideals. While our core set of values will stay somewhat stable over the years, the order may shift. Think about it—what was important to you after you graduated college? Perhaps you wanted to focus on earning as much money as possible to pay off your student loans. But later on, after a couple of decades, work life balance may have climbed to the top of your list.
If you are not crystal clear about your values, wherever you are in life, it is challenging to effectively allocate your time and resources. Do you know what you need or want to focus on each day or week? Furthermore, if you are feeling unbalanced, you are most likely not attending to some of your top priorities. Aim to spend at least 75% of your time each week on areas you value. If you have a higher percentage, even better.
What Are Your Top Values?
This week commit to revisiting your values and priorities in life with this exercise. Then determine if you are spending time on what really matters.
Readers, comment below on the top three values in your life!
This post originally appeared on FlexJobs.com. FlexJobs.com is an excellent resource for finding flexible work opportunities and advice.
These days it seems everyone is discussing work-life balance: Can we really balance our lives, especially when we have work, children, and other commitments? Can women have it all? As a career counselor and work-life specialist, my personal belief is that this is possible, but it depends on how you interpret “balance.” Read More →
Welcome to the first Guest Post on Women, Work, and Life! I am really excited to introduce Liz McGrory, a Working Mom Coach, whom I met in a working moms blogging group. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Liz, and have been especially impressed by her positive energy, dedication, and spirit. It is no surprise that she somehow found time (along with working and taking care of three children) to write her first book, “Igniting Mommy Energy”. In this post, Liz shares with us how she found her own motherhood energy and reignited it to become a confident-joyful working mom. Thanks so much for posting, Liz!
This is not another “type” that Working Moms “should” aspire to. Absolutely not. Byron Katie said it best in her book, “Loving What Is”: “In reality, there is no such thing as a “should” or a “shouldn’t”. These are only thoughts that we impose onto reality.”
What I’m about to describe here is small part of my life journey. I couldn’t quite describe it without thinking of the “mommy wars” out there, so I labeled them as phases. Read More →
I don’t know about you, but I am not a huge fan of meal planning and grocery shopping. This may be due to my lack of enjoyment of cooking in general (my sister inherited all of the talent in that department), or perhaps because the entire process of planning, shopping, cooking, and cleaning up takes an enormous amount of time in my week. Unfortunately it isn’t something I can push to the side or ignore, as we need to eat. I also can’t really delegate it all to my husband or hire a personal chef, but I have dreamed about employing my sister! If only she didn’t live so far away… Read More →
I bet you can relate – as a busy person, I am constantly trying to find ways to be more efficient and “uncover” hidden free time in my schedule. Got a new time management gimmick or technique to share? Count me in! Thus as part of this Better Work Life Balance Tip of the Week series, I’ll also be posting interesting time saving strategies. Hopefully some of these will work for you, and maybe even free up a few minutes in your schedule that you can divert to another needed area in life.
Perhaps you have heard of the strategy “tracking your time”, which involves writing down how you spend each minute of your day. It can be a tedious task at first, but it is definitely worthwhile for several reasons. First, it allows you to be more mindful of how you are spending your time and making choices. Second, it gives you an opportunity to look at your days over a longer period of time and to see the big picture. For example, although I was frustrated with my life balance, when I recorded my time over a month, I saw that I actually was not doing such a bad job. There were just some tasks I was not getting to every week, such as my photography hobby, but I did spend four hours on it over a month. Read More →
It is a dream come true when we, being the busy women that we are, have extra free time in our lives, whether it is an afternoon, day, or week. But what do we do with it?
For the past few years, my husband and I have been faced with this conundrum each summer. We are among the unfortunate souls who have no immediate relatives living nearby, even though we have three sets of healthy parents and a smattering of aunts, uncles, and cousins. The downside for us is obvious, especially given that my husband and I both work, he travels frequently, and we are in constant need of babysitters. On the other hand, we are fortunate that our parents (yes, all three couples!) have been willing to take the kids for a week or two in the summer for Grandparent-Grandchild bonding time, or what we have nicknamed the “Summer Camp Grandparent Tour”. Read More →