Boss Lady: On balancing life
One of the questions I'm asked most when people see me in action is, “How do you do it?!” My answer is always the same: “It's hard!” Because it really is, and no matter how great you are at keeping your life together, wearing many hats feels impossible 99% of the time. There also isn't one straight answer. Some days some tactics work better than others, and other days life happens and I just have to deal with the fact that “it is what it is."
My responsibilities are endless: I'm the wife of a traveling motivational speaker; a mother to an infant; a daughter; an older sister to two; an executive pastor of a new church plant; a best friend; a co-worker and leader at my full-time job; and a business owner. Yes, it's a lot and you can only begin to imagine my day to day. My time is valuable. So, I do have a plan to help facilitate my day to day.
I'm no life guru, but I do think that putting some of these things in practice will help you!
Check your attitude - If you already got up on the wrong side of the bed, chances are you'll have a bad day. So change your perspective. Everything may not be going the way you’d like, but find an opportunity to make other things better. If you can create a positive outlook on the things you have to do, getting through the day will be easier.
Plan ahead and prioritize - I do this every Sunday with my husband and it's made a world of a difference. Buy a fun planner and write out the things that are most important to you. Prioritize them and make intentional time for those things in your calendar first. Then, decide what day and time you'll do everything else. Believe it or not, I set aside time for my marriage, writing, being alone, bathing my daughter, cooking, doing groceries, etc. I don't wait to see what my day is looking like to decide what I'll do. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Create a support system - I wouldn't be able to balance life without my husband, friends, and family. There are people around me every week helping me in some way - whether it's my sister in law or friends playing with my daughter for a few hours so I can do ministry work, or my mother sending some home cooked meals to make sure I'm eating (oh moms!), I have a support system so I don't go crazy. My husband always tells me, “if you feel like you're battling alone, it's because you want to do it alone.” And he's right. So don't be afraid to reach out to your circles and let them know you need help. Because when you begin to burn out, chances are you'll begin to resent your responsibilities and, if you're married, even your partner.
Use time wisely - Your time is precious, so make the most of every minute. Use your idle time toward something productive. Or, if you've been working hard all day, take those sparing 15 minutes to relax. Don't try to add something extra to your to-do list. Stick to your plan.
Find an accountability partner - People who don't have accountability are afraid of commitment and less likely to follow through. An accountability partner knows your goals, your strengths, weaknesses, and makes it a point to help you become a better you. They aren't afraid to “tell you how it is” and show some tough love while standing up for you and fighting with you. If you don't have someone like that already, it's time to get some accountability partners.
Have faith - (Don't stop reading because you don't think this is for you; you lose nothing in hearing me out.) We practice faith every day, whether we believe in a higher power or not. Every time you sit in a chair, you are doing so with the “faith” (hoping for and knowing) that it won't break under your weight. Faith is a huge part of my life and without it, I wouldn't have the emotional strength to carry on my day to day. Sometimes a friend's advice/input, a self-help book, or a counselor won't make you feel better. There are moments in life where nothing you do or try makes a situation better and you feel incapable. Those days require us to look beyond ourselves for relief, and it's in those moments that faith carries us through.