I would love to be a super mum where I am able to run my little business successfully and also not miss a single moment of my child’s growing up. In other words, I need a work-life balance. In my current situation, the balance is tilted more towards ‘life’ as opposed to those who have a 9-5 day job. Therefore I see the issue from another perspective probably contrary to what is mostly discussed in the media and books. I should clarify that this ‘life’ involves bringing up a child which is nothing less than a ‘job’ on its own, albeit tax-free (read – unpaid). I am sure many readers will find themselves in the same boat where we are trying to establish a business that we are passionate about, while managing kids and home.
I have to say, a little bit of chaos is fun and a perfect ‘balance’ is probably a myth. Despite this, I have taken a few small steps in my effort to achieve some work-life balance and hope to fulfil a few more this year.
1. Having a to-do list helps me to start the day proactively. There is no greater pleasure than ticking off this list – I know, that’s sad
2. I want to follow the SMART technique, where you set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time based.
3. Effective Time Management for the entire week would be the dream-come-true situation. This includes the time spent on twitter and facebook as well, because even though I love all my friends there, I do get carried away most of the time. It is also worth checking my inbox in blocks of 30 minutes, I think.
4. Generally it helps to prioritise everything, based on its importance and deadline. I love to ignore the cleaning for a day, if need be.
5. Some of you may not agree, but I have decided to invest money on good childcare for my little one. We (as parents) have made significant sacrifices on little luxuries to pay for it, as having a few child free days is a luxury for me. It helps me to concentrate and work during that time and therefore play and give her all the attention when she is at home.
6. Sleeping well is one of my priorities as a good 6 hour sleep helps me get through the rest of the day. I am lucky that my little one is a pre-schooler and she sleeps well generally. It was very different when she was an infant.
7. I wish I got a smartphone earlier than I did. The cost was an issue for me and I was so wrong. Luckily I managed a good deal (I hope!) by shopping around. Even though I didn’t go for the latest gadget, it is well worth it. I can ‘multitask’ – use twitter and facebook while playing with Mini Edition or watching television and work during the child-free hours. Well that’s the plan at least, when I achieve point No 3.
8. I do try to spare more time than I really need for a particular job. As a mum, I know – I will be interrupted with a call for nature by toddler, just as I am about to leave for a post office run or some pointless tantrum when I am just about to click ‘send’ to an email. Needless to say I find more emails in my saved drafts than the sent folder as a result.
9. I should remember to take a break before I get carried away by working too much. I should always remember the bigger picture – the whole reason why I quit my previous job to start on my own.
10. I do enjoy and am passionate about what I do and I hope this continues. The moment my work becomes a chore and mundane, it will be difficult to continue even with the perfect work-life balance.