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Categories: Work/Life

Balance Your Schedule Based on the Life You Have, Not the Life You Want

You can find serenity by learning to balance your schedule based on the life you have, not the life you want. Whenever a group of working moms gets together, the subject of work/life balance inevitably is raised. It doesn’t matter if the women work at home, in their own businesses or for other companies. The women who seem like good balance artists are asked their secrets for success. The women who have trouble balancing are frustrated and often on the verge of tears.

Over the years I have learned that the secret to balance at my house is working with reality instead of the dream. By this I mean that you should schedule your activities both personal and professional based on your real life. For example, my teenager must be up at 6 am so she can be at the bus stop by 7 am. My other children must be up at 7 am to be at the bus stop by 8:25 am. I must pick up the little ones at the bus stop at 4:25 pm and they do not go to bed until 8:30 pm. I work from home. This means that there is no point in scheduling any work from 4:15 pm to 9:00 pm because my children will be up and running around occupying my mind and my time. No matter how much I would like to sit down at 6:00 pm and write or talk with clients, it will not happen, at least not without more drama than it is all worth.

Follow Janeane Davis’s board Balancing Home and Work on Pinterest.

Successful balance means that you work with the life you have, rather than the one you want to have or wish you had. When you are trying to balance work and life, be realistic. When you schedule, be sure you put the following things in our calendar before adding your schedule:

1. Children’s school and activity schedules
2. Spouse’s activity schedule
3. Your religious obligations
4. Your work obligations

At the start of each school year when I get my children’s school calendars, I take the time to actually fill in days off, half days, HSA meetings, school breaks, concerts and the like. I make sure to keep track of my husband’s work events on my calendar. Events at church or for church I add to my telephone right at church while I am reading the weekly announcements. Once all that stuff is in the calendar I see what time is free and available. This means when I schedule time for my work obligations, I don’t have to feel guilty or stressed because I have taken everything and everyone else into account.

A secret for me is an electronic calendar. I use an electronic calendar because it means my calendar is on my phone, my tablet and my laptop. If I lose or break any of them, I still have my calendar “in the cloud.” One benefit of the calendar being on my phone is that I can carry the phone in my pocket or on my hip and have an alarm go off when it is time to do the next thing on the schedule. My scheduling for balance wasn’t perfect day one. It wasn’t perfect day two. But now, it does work well for me and I continue to schedule purposefully, and with my actual family and obligations in mind. Perhaps one day my dream scheduling and reality based scheduling will be the same.

In conclusion, you can find serenity by learning to schedule based on the life you have, not the life you want. So, the question for you this serene day is, are you scheduling your life based on reality or on a dream?

Janeane Davis

View Comments

  • I agree with you completely, I also schedule my work around my kid's schedule as trying to work while they are around just creates frustration for everyone.

  • a very good way to think about, the things we finished before the year end, that means we can start for a new things we plan for the next year

  • Exactly! Since my kids are all attention hogs, I do not plan to do things when they are up and around. By making this one change, I made my life a lot better and eliminated a little stress.

  • Scheduling and sticking to the schedule is crucial to success for me.

  • I like to share ideas I learn from experience or hear from other moms on how we can balance all the balls we need to keep in the air.

  • Exactly because for me one of the main reasons for being stressed is overbooking!

  • Great tip with utilizing a calendar that syncs with all of your electronic devices. Having your family schedule and obligations handy at all times helps to not over-book or stretch yourself even thinner than most of us already are.

  • Finding that balance between work, kids, events, and so on can be a challenge to say the least. It is something that I struggle with every single day. Great post.

  • I agree with setting reality schedule.

  • this is really good advice we should all live the life we have and not the one we wish we had

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