Kathleen Ameche: HI! I am Kathy Ameche and I am discussing how to balance work and family life. Now I am going to talk about why it is important to give yourself a break.
Give yourself permission to step away from the computer or have a night away from the kids. There are things that you can and should do for yourself, celebrate you all the work you do. If you don't, you'll start to resent everyone and everything around you. Make a list of things you are used to do and love which you don't have the time for anymore. See if you can add them back in your life. What was the last great book you read? What is your favorite game? Make time to have fun again. Schedule it in your day planner or PDA just as you would with the regular meeting. One of my favorite phrases is return on indulgences, or if you spend some time pampering yourself, it will pay off you later. To do this, I have some tips for You Time. Take you time out just for you, 10 minutes a day, sit down, turn off the electronics and find some quite time. You would be amazed at what comes to your mind and be willing to trust your own thoughts. If you are married, with or without children, bring some Us Time back into the equation.
When our kids got old enough, we instituted date morning. Every Saturday morning, we would go out to a local coffee shop, go over the weeks events and just catch-up. If you travel, set boundaries as to what you will do when you get home. For example, no email, phone calls, or work for your first night back. You can also outsource your cooking, cleaning, errands, Decide if they are a good use of your time when you are at home and then get a routine and stick with it.
Other things you can do to help keep yourself connected while you are on the road, schedule a time with your child to talk, one-on-one. Undivided attention and make it special. Implement video conferencing with your family, teach boundaries as to when they can and can't interrupt you. Hang a master calendar in the house where everything is written, so your family knows where you are at all times. Talk about what the really important things are and can't be missed, and be sure to honor these events.
Also, come up with the process for checking in and dealing with delays. If you are single and travel, you don't get off that easy. You need to stay in the game. It's too easy to crawl into cocoon and not get out and see your friends. But unfortunately, when you are gone, a lot of your friends make plans without you and then you'll feel as if you have been left behind. Take it upon yourself to set the time to get together between trips. I know you are tired when you get back but the old saying, out of sight, out of mind comes into play here. So that's why it's important to give yourself a break.
Up next, I am going to talk about where you can get help when you need it.