Work and Home – 3 Tips to Make it Easier

I was at a networking event last week and had the amazing pleasure of hearing Tina Overbury speak. She was part of a panel of successful women entrepreneurs who were sharing their wisdom with the audience. One of the questions that she was asked was how she balances her time between work and her family (she has two very successful businesses,  a husband and three boys). Here’s my interpretation of what she shared with us.

1. When you are is where you are, don’t drift.

If you’re at work, then you’re at work. Don’t be thinking about all the things that you need to do when you get home. Stay focussed, it’s not fair to your business to be thinking about home. When you’re at home, be at home. Don’t answer work emails on your phone or be thinking about all the things that you need to do for work. It’s not fair to your family to be thinking about work. If you need to do some work stuff while at home, go to a separate room, take care of it, and then come back to your family.

2. Check Your Guilt

Tina talked about feeling mommy guilt, which is really common with working moms. While at work we feel guilty because we aren’t spending more time being mom with our family. Ask yourself if that guilt is truly deserved. Chances are, it’s not (at least not in the extreme that our mind often goes to). If there is some deserved guilt, then do what you need to do to mend the situation and move on. Don’t dwell, do it differently next time.

3. Find Your Telephone Booth

I find it really hard to when I get home from work to jump right into mommy/family mode. Tina shared that she knows of a lot of women that have some sort of ritual they do when they transition from work to home. Like Clark Kent changing into Superman in the phone booth. For some it’s having a quick shower, for others it might be simply sitting someplace quiet for a few moments. It’s a clear transition that work is done and now it is time for family. I’ve tried this for the past few days and I have to say, it has made a big difference. It’s like getting clear in your head where your focus needs to be. Having the babysitter stay for an extra 30 minutes, or leaving work 30 minutes early has absolutely been worth it.

Final Thought…

Most of us experience overwhelm at some point (or many points) in our life. We can choose not to look at our life and just keep truckin along, hoping things will magically change, or, we can try some little things that could just make a huge difference. It’s always our choice.

6 thoughts on “Work and Home – 3 Tips to Make it Easier

  1. Stephanie Calahan

    Live the telephone booth analogy. It makes a huge difference when you can shift from one mode to another. While some people can very successfully switch between personal and work, many cant. Having techniques to do that is really helpful.

    I have an alarm go off about 15 minutes before my son gets home. During that time, I wrap up lose ends and begin my mental shift.

    Reply
    1. badams Post author

      I like the idea of the timer, it’s so easy to lose track of time (especially if you have a home office). Great strategy for making sure you have that transition time. Thanks Stephanie!

      Reply
  2. Kimberly Eldredge

    These are excellent tips! I never realized that I have a “phone booth” ritual but I TOTALLY do.

    My biggest hangup is actually number 1. And it’s not the home/business overlap but the job/business overlap. I find that I have a hard time being on task at my job because I’m thinking about my business OR that I have a hard time getting started on a business task because the mental stress from my job has followed me home.

    My solution is to make notes during the day when a business idea pops up and at home to really focus on the transition between job and business. (

    And to EAT something. Solving the “I’m hungry” brain drain fixes just about everything!

    Reply
    1. badams Post author

      Isn’t that funny that sometimes we inherently do things and aren’t aware of them. Job/business overlap – yes, I can see how that would need some defined transition time. And eating, I think you landed on a big piece of the problem. When people get really busy and are juggling multiple roles, it seems common for them to forget to eat. They get their version of hangry (hungry + angry).

      Thanks Kim!

      Reply
  3. Tandy Elisala

    Brenda, thanks for sharing these tips. They are all important! I love the telephone booth analogy. I immediately thought of this as our ‘cave’. I have done this and it makes a difference. During really high stress periods, I would hide in the car… in silence. Nobody thinks to look for you in the car! I love bubble baths and reading for 10-15 minutes to help shift my brain from one mode to another.

    Reply
    1. badams Post author

      The cave! What a great visual! Actually my husband will often sit in the car for a few minutes before coming in the house and I never really thought about why. Usually I assumed that he was on the phone or gathering all his stuff. Now I wonder if that’s his cave….I’ll have to ask him. Thanks Tandy :-)

      Reply

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