People often ask me how I manage my business, run a household of a husband, three sons, two nephews and an exchange student and still find time for the things I love to do.
The answer is I don't find time. I make time. If I don't take care of myself—which includes eating right, exercising, relaxing with my husband, seeing my girlfriends, getting my hair done and even slipping in a massage now and then—I'm not happy. When I do, I'm in a better mind-set to be there for everyone else. I've discovered a few strategies for achieving balance that could work for you, as well.
Do two things at once
Multitasking is my absolute favorite way to find more minutes in the day. A few examples: I exercise while spending time with friends—we'll go for a two-mile walk while catching up. The women in my company hold meetings over manicures! And I make a habit of finishing leftover work on my commute home so that when I walk through the front door, I can focus completely on my home life.
Schedule the important stuff
I put all the crucial dates—anniversaries, birthdays, the kids' school events and family vacations—on my calendar far in advance. Once they are in there, I stick to those commitments 99 percent of the time.
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Know when you need a break
Having a family, a career and a social life is hard work. As women, we try to do it all and push ourselves even when we're beyond exhausted. I've learned that I need to stop when I'm really tired and concentrate on decompressing. Relaxation is essential for our minds and bodies. Trust me: It is time well spent. Rest can mean actual sleep or just meditation and breathing, which helps recharge your batteries. After I finally take the time to reboot, I am ready to contribute so much more.
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Strike your own balance
I like to balance my life as much as possible. Some weeks are better than others. Carving out "me" time has been a work in progress. I'm not perfect, and there's always room to grow. At least, though, there's time to grow because I schedule it in. I encourage you to do the same; the investment you put into taking care of yourself will pay off in the best ways. Above all, don't think only about what you have to do but also about what you want to do—and then go do that and make sure it brings you nothing but happiness.