The Juggling Act
From corporate leaders to entry-level staff, life can become a juggling act as you try to balance your work and personal life. It’s difficult enough to prioritize your tasks, but what about when your list of “priorities” is so long, you have to prioritize priorities? Suddenly that sense of being overwhelmed gets heavier, and burnout peeks its ugly head over the horizon.
10 Ways to Improve Your Juggling Skills
- Invest in software: Find a program that sync’s all your devices, as well as both work and off-time schedules. Organizing every aspect of your life in one “document” helps prevent double booking and keeps your priorities in order.
- Conduct a Meeting for One: Pick a time each day to unplug for thirty minutes and evaluate your list for that day/week/month in order of priority.
- Learn to set limits: Work has priorities – so does your family life – so does your “me” time. If you focus too much on one, the pressure and guilt in the other areas will still rob you of wellbeing. Set a limit on how much of each day goes to work, family, friends, and personal time, which includes getting enough sleep, exercise, and healthy eating. Then within each parameter, prioritize the activities specific to that area.
- Combine: Whether work time, personal time, or in some cases, a mix of the two, batch together similar tasks – especially ones that follow like brain patterns and the same tools. You will increase your efficiency.
- To do or not to do: Include a list of low-effort “to do” items that still need to be done; use this list for times of low energy where you cannot effectively accomplish a difficult task. For example, folding laundry the first 30 minutes after you get home from work – it gives your brain a break. Assigning routine tasks, a routine time – they will become an efficient habit.
- Prepare to Focus: For tasks that require brain power like writing, strategizing, problem-solving, or planning the annual neighborhood block party, you need a clear, relaxed mind. Schedule those for your peak energy times and take breaks throughout the day to stay rested and on top of your game.
- Multi-Tasking: Try not to multi-task too much. It’s easy to be pulled away from a critical task with interruptions or demands from others. Keep to your form. If a situation arises, assess it – an emergency demands flexibility with an attitude of acceptance; everything else gets added to the list for the next time you take a thirty-minute evaluation. Likewise, if you tend to get distracted from your task at hand by intermittent thoughts, and ideas, jot them down, get them out of your head and revisit when time permits.
- Defeat Procrastination: Be creative and find ways to make those tedious tasks enjoyable. Listen to upbeat music, go outside the office to work – whatever it takes. Set a specific time for those tasks you tend to avoid – whether it’s the monthly report your boss demands or weeding the landscaping – and then reward yourself for sticking to it. Of course, sometimes, you need to “just do it.”
- Meetings: A necessary part of your life – both at work and socially, but don’t go overboard. Streamline this process by creating and sticking to an agenda. When a joint email is sufficient, use the email. Make a point of eliminating unnecessary meetings.
- Deadlines: From work projects to informational forms for life events, there are deadlines to meet. If you have a deadline, plug it onto your calendar allowing enough time to accomplish the tasks. If it requires work ahead – for example, baking/buying cookies for the PTA meeting, put that on your calendar too. If you are managing multiple deadlines with many variables, create a timeline in excel and check off items as you complete them.
Sometimes you need help. Knowing when to ask for help, hire help, or delegate a task is an essential. Like contacting AllianceStaff when you need support staff, or when you are the staff, and you’re ready for a new position. We provide first-class search and staffing services in the Greater Milwaukee area to our business clients, and the candidates we encounter, through personal service, open communication, continuous training, and dedication to excellence. Contact us today.