Now that we have started to confront some of the workplace issues that can hold us back, it is time to address our lifestyle challenges and the opportunities to solve them. The great news is that even the smallest changes can yield enormous results for your happiness and your time.
Here are nine life changing behaviors for greater happiness and success:
1. Play In All Slices
After working with thousands of women, I can tell you that the happiest moms are those that play in six or seven slices including children, career, a relationship (or the quest to find one), friends, hobbies, community, and health. Even if some of these only warrant a sliver, the bite is important.
2. Define Your Non-Negotiables
Look at your slices and decide what is most important to you about each one. Now plan for it. If having time to work out is a priority, add it to the calendar. A trip to buy new shoes with your child? Add that too. Date night, family dinners, your daughter’s hockey game. The further in advance you calendar them, the greater your chance of protecting them.
3. Get Rid Of Guilt
When you realize that there isn’t one beneficiary of this wasted emotion, it is easier to get rid of it for good. Ask yourself who wins when you feel guilty and then name all of those who lose. The best thing you could do for yourself and your family is to be your best self while “on the clock” at work and to be present and engaged with your family when at home. And if you find yourself making decisions based on guilt, rethink them.
4. Design Your Boundaries
In the old days we worked for the same company for 30 years and our daily hours were 9-5. But times have changed and you should too. Don’t expect your company to protect your personal life, that’s your job. Decide a reasonable time to arrive and leave the office each day given your workload and responsibilities, and barring a work deadline or emergency, stick to it. Daily train commuters are slave to the schedule; behave like one of them.
5. Use Your Magic Hour
Wake up one hour before your kids each day so that you can get showered and dressed at a leisurely pace, answer a few emails, have a cup of coffee and even make breakfast. By the time your kids wake up, you are a step ahead of the day. This is magic.
6. Move To The Golden Triangle
To gain more time, shift all of your errands to the three points between your work, your home and your child’s school. This is The Golden Triangle. From the grocery store to the dentist to the hair salon, shift these errands to fit within it.
7. Make Decisions Fast
As working moms, we can drown in the myriad of daily decisions. Should I make pancakes or eggs for breakfast? Say yes to a client dinner next week? Ask for the raise? Let my son have a friend sleep over this weekend? Help my daughter with her homework? As a busy working mom, you don’t have time to dwell in the grey area; make decisions swiftly and move on.
8. Partner Up
To reach your potential personally and professionally, you are either single or you have a partner who supports your dreams and is willing to do his or her part to divide and conquer at home and with the kids. If you are paired up but unequal, it is time to turn your spouse into a partner. After the kids go to sleep, take a night to have an open conversation and spend time writing down what each of you does in a given week, this is your path to a Partnershift.
9. Embrace The Imperfection
When you accept that a fulfilling life is full of messy moments and some chaos, you can get through the rough patches faster. Embrace the imperfection and move on to the next moment which is likely to be a far better one.
Samantha Ettus is an author & corporate speaker. The Pie Life: A Guilt-Free Recipe for Success and Satisfaction will be released in September.
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