ORGANISING TIPS FOR WORKING PARENTS!
As a working mom I know there are so many challenges that we face as parents – the greatest one, in my opinion is GUILT. So we feel guilty that we are at work when we should be interacting with the kids and when we are with the kids we feel guilty that we are not focusing on that huge project with looming deadline at work. With the guilt comes stress, with the stress comes us snapping at our children and partners, the ones we love the most, because somehow it is easier to be a wicked witch to them (they never judge us) than to our colleagues or boss whom we hardly know.
Where there is a lot of advise that we can cover on this extensive topic I would just like to highlight these tips to help you create some normality in your currently chaotic life:
• SET GOALS. Baring in mind that life is about balance, think about what you’d like to achieve in all areas of your life, that you haven’t already, and write them down: mental (work, finance, education), physical (health, fitness, well being), emotional (self, friends, family, material) and spiritual (religion, charity, spirituality). Look at your list and next to each goal give it a priority (A is high and C is low), and a time frame (immediate, 5 years, 10 years +) then spend some time planning what you need to do, step by step to make this goal come true. Knowing what you are wanting to achieve and planning on how you are going to achieve it allows you to live your life on purpose with purpose. Having goals in all four quadrants brings balance, balance allows you to stay focused in the moment knowing that you are making time to achieve your goals.
• ACCEPT. I read once that “acceptance leads to change and denial leads to disaster”. Life is different now that you have children; surround yourself with the people that support your goals and choose to ignore those comments or actions from those that don’t. Both parents working is often a necessity in modern homes. Perhaps you love what you do, perhaps you don’t – if you are only working for the money be consoled that it is this income that allows you to offer your children the opportunities that they enjoy. Take deep breathes and choose your words carefully.
• ORGANISE. Make sure that your home and office are as organised as possible. Only keep items that you need, use or love – everything else is clutter and clutter is what gets in your way of reaching your goals. Your children learn from your example, teach them the skill of organisation by living it yourself – being organised will help you reduce stress, create time, save money and increase productivity. Being organised is not about being neat; it’s about being able to find your things in the quickest possible time with the least amount of hassle. It’s not about how things look but how they work that’s important. Encourage your children to ‘sort out’ instead of always commanding them to ‘tidy up’.
• USE LISTS. By taking the information out of your head and onto paper you can easily see what it is that you are needing to do and can therefore plan. Proper planning prevents poor performance and allows you to leave the office on time knowing you have done what you had committed to. Once a week jot down everything that you are needing to do (and keep adding to this list as the week goes on) – prioritise this list from most to least important and tackle the important tasks first. Cross off your list as you complete the task. One life – one list!
• CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES. So often when you are rushing around you forget to take stock of “what am I thinking – how am I feeling?”. When the ‘feeling’ is not serving you allow yourself to stop for a moment – take a deep breath and change your thought. When you approach your children and colleagues in a calm manner you are far more likely to get a positive response than just jumping down their throats. If you slow your thoughts you slow your actions – it is remarkable how much more gets done when you are calm.
• HAVE BACKUP. Even with the most precise planning the unexpected can still happen. Your child could have a fall at school or your work deadline could be brought forward. Having a good backup support system in place will help you shift your focus where it is most needed in reactive situations. A grandparent, partner, friend or neighbor could be on your ‘standby’ list for these extreme situations. By having more than one person to call helps backup the backup.
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