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.
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.