Last Monday thousands of children went back to school. With that came a change in season. Summer brings a change in the pace of life, but things pick back up when students go back to school. Parents have to juggle between work, and they also have the added stress of having to drop off and pick up their kids from school. If their children are involved in extracurricular activities or are members of a community organization parents have one more thing to contend with. Children have to juggle between school and their organizations if they are a part of one. Life can seem chaotic and we often have trouble managing. When our lives get busy we neglect ourselves, and things are left undone. Some of us may lose sleep and become irritable. Sometimes all of the stress becomes too much and we get sick. When this happens we end up missing work or school because we have been stressed out as we try to get things done. Needless to say, it is necessary to find balance between work/school and life. Here are a few ways to help you manage:
1. Create a Schedule: Get a calendar and start scheduling time that will be devoted to work. Make sure to work when your schedule yourself to work, and do not put it off. When your time is up stop working and goes to the next thing. If you have children factor them into your schedule. If you are involved in a community organization and you have a meeting or an event make sure to put that on your calendar. Try not to deviate from the schedule you create.
2. Take Breaks: Don’t become so busy that you are not taking breaks from your work. It is important to get your work done, but it is also important to a break every once in a while. You may have a lot accomplish, but working or studying without taking a break once in a while makes it harder to focus. We are often told that we should take breaks when we are driving long distances, and it is the same with work whether it is school work or work for a job in the workforce. We may think that we are accomplishing a lot by working until it’s all done, but we are actually less effective when we don’t take breaks.
3. Reward Yourself: Reward yourself when you finish your work. Find something you like and reward yourself with when you finish. If you like chocolate, or another type of candy buy some candy and keep it on hand. When you finish your work, or some other task reward yourself. If you complete a small task make it a small reward. If you’ve just completed a large task make it a larger reward. The reward can be something tangible, or it can be something intangible. The point is that it should be used a tool to motivate you and keep you focused on the task at hand.
4. Find Accountability: Find someone to hold you accountable. Talk to that person and tell them what you are working on. Have him/her check in on and you to see how you’re coming along. Having someone to hold you accountable makes it more likely that you will get the task done and that you will achieve your goals.
As the days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months, this season will change and more things will come up. Soon summer will fade into fall, and we will have even more on our plate as the end of the year approaches. With the coming of fall comes a few of the biggest holidays. Soon we will have parties, and gatherings to go to, and people to shop for as Christmas approaches. All of this will bring added stress and more things to juggle but hopefully, these suggestions will make just a little bit easier for you to find balance between work and life.