While it is no longer expected that women stay home to run the household, there are new challenges that career women face. Women who choose to pursue their passions outside of the household often feel the weight of the world on their shoulders.
Brittany Anderson – co-founder of Dare to Dream Enterprises, author, wife and mom of two young girls - knows first-hand the challenges that come with managing a career and a household. Brittany commented “There is no magic formula to creating balance between work and home. What I can say is that there is one simple thing that you can do to set yourself up for success each and every day. There is a saying that states if you have more than three priorities, you have none.”
Brittany goes on to say, “I’ve seen this time and time again where you start making a to-do list and before you know it there’s 22 items on the list. When you have so many things to focus on your brain just freezes and that’s where procrastination kicks in. So try to keep things simple by only allowing yourself 3 top priorities each day. If you can get just 3 important things done per day that is 1,095 accomplishments in a year – that’s something to celebrate!”
Productivity Consultant David Allen once said “You can do anything, but you can’t do EVERYTHING.”
Here are five essential tips to living by and embracing this mantra so that you can design your ideal life!
1. Get rid of the guilt.
There are a million articles out there on the topic of “mom guilt” and the range of guilt that women face is alarming. In today’s society there are certain expectations placed on mom’s, and everyone has an opinion. But here’s the deal – harnessing guilt isn’t good for anyone. It lowers your self-esteem, causes negative stress and doesn’t allow you to be present in the moment because you’re stuck thinking of the “could have’s” and “should have’s.” Understand that it’s ok to not have it together 100% of the time… that’s not possible! But what is possible is putting certain systems into place to help you forget less, stress less and be present more – which leads me to my second point.
2. Prioritize & Focus
Remember that quote above about doing anything but not everything? Prioritization is key for the career-oriented woman. Decide what is most important and act on only those things. Don’t take the easy way out by doing the things that really aren’t going to make a difference in your day. Start by drawing two columns on a sheet of paper. On one side make a list of activities that will take you to the next level and on the other side make a list of the things that are holding you back. Then figure out how to spend less time doing the things that drain you and more time on the things that bring you energy and excitement in life.
What is the key to effective delegation? Some would say it starts with communication. Others would say it has to do with the type of task you’re delegating. While these things do matter, one of the most effective way to delegate is to surround yourself with amazing people! This applies to both your professional and personal life. By putting people in the right seats, doing things that they are exceptional at, this frees you up to focus only on those things that give you endless energy. Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach calls this working within a person’s Unique Abilities. You’d be amazed at how many of the things that you loath, are things that other people love to do!
4. It’s Ok to Play!
In order to be a mom and career woman you cannot take yourself too seriously. If you aren’t having fun in your work, guess what starts to creep back in? It’s that mom-guilt again! Celebrate small wins at work with your teams. Schedule a happy hour with your colleagues. Simply allow yourself to laugh at some of things that drive you crazy! If you didn’t have challenges you wouldn’t have growth, right?!
And then when you get home put the same practices into play. Get down on the floor and play with your kids. Play outside. Take a few moments of uninterrupted time with your significant other and enjoy each other’s company! Don’t take life too seriously because you only have one chance at it. Make it fun!
5. Take Care of Yourself
There is a quote out there that says “Take care of yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup.” As a career mom your day may look a little something like this… Get up, get ready, get little ones ready, get the kids to school/daycare, drive to work, handle the 10,000 things on your plate, leave the office, rush to pick your kids up, get home, cook dinner, help with homework, get baths done, read bedtime stories, tuck your kids in bed, clean up the kitchen, prep for the next day…
So where do you fit any self-care in that routine you ask? Refer to numbers 2 & 3 above. At least one of your top priorities for your day should be something for yourself. Get a workout in. Prep healthy meals for your week. Schedule a dinner with your friends. Do something that makes you happy outside of your work and outside of your home. You need to take care of yourself in order to take care of those around you.
You can do and achieve ANYTHING you set your mind to, as long as you don’t try to do everything at once. Life is about building a tribe of amazing people around you that you can give and get support from. It is truly amazing what you can accomplish in this life if you stay focused, don’t take yourself too seriously and know that regardless, you’re a Rockstar!