Poster by Anthony Burrel. Spotted on Joy Ever After.

Hello, Friends! Are you ready for part two of the Work Life Balance Series? I have five more thoughts to share with you — some are more “work” related. Others focus more on “life. Plus, I’ve included some really great quotes from Design Mom Readers.

Once again, I’ll point out that these are things that have worked for ME, but may or may not work for you. Feel free to agree or disagree and definitely feel free to share your own thoughts. I LOVED reading what you had to say on the last post. It’s such an important topic. The more we disucss, the better! Like last time, each thought has been distilled to 140 characters or less, so it’s easy to share.

6) Appreciate and embrace your current season of life. #WorkLifeBalance

If you’re pottytraining your daughter this month, it might not be the best time to schedule the family vacation to Paris — where public toilets can be few and far between. Do your best to acknowledge and appreciate the current season of your life. Your baby may not always be so snuggly. Your curious preschooler may not always assume you know the answers to every question. Embrace your current life. And when it’s hard to embrace, know the next season is coming faster than you think.

“There are things I can do now that I won’t be able to do later, and it’s about making sure I do the important things pertaining to that season right now.” – Louise

 

7) Comparing yourself to others is the fastest way to a bad day. Don’t do it. #WorkLifeBalance

This is a huge one! But sometimes, this is really hard to do. When I find myself slipping into comparison thoughts, my best way out is to do something creative — whether it’s baking or doodling or a major DIY project. If I’m engaged in something creative, my brain won’t make space for destructive thoughts.

“Just because it seems like my friends manage to do in one day what I can get done in a week, doesn’t mean it’s true, nor does it mean that I have to also.” – Kathleen

“Comparison begets either pride or discontent, neither of which help with genuine kindness or relationships. When I eliminate comparisons, I can let go of “doing it all.” Too often “doing it all” is based on how we compare ourselves to what we see others as  being and doing. It is forever allusive.” – Lisa Sabey

 

8) Just say no. To unnecessary activities. To extra stuff. #WorkLifeBalance.

Give yourself permission to say no. You’ll receive requests for your time at school, at work, at church, in your neighborhood, and a dozen other places. Saying no to something so that you can spend a Saturday morning making pancakes with your kids does not mean you’re lazy or unhelpful. This is your life and your time. Say no to the unnecessary.

This extends double to “things”. Every item you bring into your home will require you to store or maintain or otherwise decide what to do with it. Own less. Say no to extra stuff.

“I say no to about half of the social invitations we receive and this helps us to achieve more balance in our lives. At first I felt a tad bit bad doing this, but not anymore!”Ashlea Walter

“My biggest tip is to say no more often. No to all those extra activities. No to TV. No to more stuff. More peaceful time at home is more nourishing for us and leaves me with lots of free time.” -Ayme.

 

9) Prevent Internet-as-Blackhole. Schedule your online time the same way you schedule other work or entertainment. #WorkLifeBalance.

Don’t get online unless you actually have time to BE online. If you check your email in the middle of family dinner and find an urgent task, you’ll either have to leave the family dinner to attend to it, or try to finish the family dinner while feeling panic-ed about the urgent task. You’re probably getting online for work purposes or entertainment purposes. So, schedule your online time the same way you schedule your work time and entertainment time.

An exception to this is using the internet to look up directions. : )

 

10) Find an activity to call your own. Something you do to feed your soul. #WorkLifeBalance

It’s easy to forget yourself among your roles as employee, parent and spouse. Find a little something you can do regularly that’s just for you. Reading a novel. Taking a class. Whatever it is that reminds you: in addition to being an attentive spouse and hard-working parent, you’re also an interesting person.

“I think it’s critical that a mom has something in her life that has nothing to do with her kids or husband. For me, it’s a few things: writing, making jewelry, going to a book group. It’s something to look forward to when you are having a bad day (or week!).” – Sarah

 

I hope these thoughts will help jumpstart the conversation. Do they resonate with you? Do they remind you of anything you’ve learned when you consider Work Life Balance?

Read more about this series, and find five more tips for Work Life Balance in Part One here.