“I don’t know how you do it”, I have heard this phrase for years, regularly. Honestly, there have been times when I myself have wondered how I have done it, but I have. Everyone has to find their own way but here are some tricks on how I have “done it” over the years.
- Learn how to say no- tough one. As a person that thrives on making those around me happy and comfortable (hence a career in hospitality) this was a tough lesson to learn. I felt like if I said no, I would upset someone but in all actuality my time became more valuable and I was sought after for my availability and I was able to dedicate the appropriate energy and resources to whatever it was.
- Budget your time like you budget your money– In theory you do not spend more money than you have or you can afford to pay back, why would you commit yourself to things that require more time than you have? Experience teaches us how to budget, not everyone naturally posseses this skill. In my early years I had no money and no time, broke and tired! Well, now that I think of it, this is still the case but I am in a better place, I think. This tip is really to add comfort to your life, provide you a cushion.
- Organize- find a way to organize yourself, whatever it is. Color coding is fun but only works if you keep it up and don’t code so granular that you are searching for shades of colors. There are so many tools available to you for example, calendars, task lists, reminders, etc. Whether you prefer digital or print, there are so many ways to organize yourself, once you do people will be asking you “wow, how do you remember these things?”.
- Forgive yourself when you forget– this is the hardest thing to do. You already feel guilty for working outside of the home and then you miss a parent teacher conference. It’s ok, life goes on and you will get the report card later and can easily email the teacher or call. Everyone forgets things, even with reminders, forgive yourself and move on.
- Give a little time to all of it- this one is my favorite and one I have passed on to countless friends and colleagues. Projects at home and work are overwhelming when you are juggling many and you feel like they are just piling on, they probably are. Knock out the quick things, easy things, get them off of your plate so you feel a sense of accomplishment as you start your or get back from a break in the day, don’t let things items pile up as they create a feeling of so much to do when really they are small things. On the longer term items and projects, spend five minutes a day on each one of them. Take the time to see if you are awaiting input from someone else and follow-up with them, make a few notes on next steps, or just refresh something pertinent. I promise you that this will make you feel like a rock stat because you are on top of everything, if nothing else, when someone asks you about it out of the blue, you actually have an answer and others will be amazed.
- You may feel like a mess but others think you are perfect– we are naturally our harshest critic at least I can say this about myself with utter certainty. On the outside however, everything looks great and you appear to have it together.
“How I do it”, “it”, I am not sure what that is but I can tell you as many times as it has felt like my life is a circus act, these tips have gotten me through it all and maybe they will help you “do it” too!