First Steps Balance Work and Family – Organize and Prioritize

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,004
    Kathy Ameche, Traveler-in-Chief of, discusses how to organize and prioritize things in your life.

    Kathleen Ameche: Hi! I am Kathy Ameche and I am discussing how to balance work and family life. Now, I am going to show you how to organize and prioritize to begin balancing work and family life. The first thing you need to do is find the organizational style and equipment that works best for you. Organizational styles can be list-based, visual, pictorial or winging it, aka hope for the best. If you don't know your style let me help. List based styles are just that, sitting down, collecting your thoughts and making a list of items what you need to accomplish. Your list can be for a day, week, month, year, or even a lifetime. The second style is a process called mind-mapping. A mind map is a visual diagram that you prepare that is used to represent words, ideas, tasks, arranged around a project idea or even a day. The final style is winging it. It's just as it sounds. You are type of person who accepts things as they arise and makes the plan according to the issue at hand. If you don't have an organizational style, don't beat yourself up. Take a minute to think about how you approach things you need to accomplish. Does your mind start making a to-do list? Do you visualize the results, like mind mapping, or find yourself moving in motion, winging it. I have had great success with mind-mapping when I have got a project to complete. But personally, I am list-based person. I create my list in three-ring binder. I know it's kind of old school but it gives me plenty of freedom to organize things the way I want to and add as many pages as I need. Now through the magic of computers, iPhones and PDA, we can keep track of our lists electronically; the same principals apply. It maybe useful to have software that syncs up your PDA with your office computer. If you lucky enough to have an assistant, you may want that person to have access to your to-do list as well. Many women I know swear by the daytime or style organizers in varying sizes. The Franklin Covey people even offer a seminar on time management and how to use your organizer. Essentially, it's make a list, establish deadlines, and establish which things need to be done today, the A items, which should be done next, the B items, and so on. I suspect that most people never get to the C or D item, but it's instructive to identify things that are really low priority. I can also say, do put off until tomorrow what you don't have to do today. A little creative procrastination is useful. Its amazing how many projects when you put off, turn out not to have been important at all. Remove one thing from your to-do list daily. Preferably, cross off one of the items that isn't completed. You will realize it wasn't a high priority and it will help you manage your time better. Whatever your style, have a plan and commit to sticking with it. It's important to have a plan, so you have something to deviate from. I encourage deviation with style. Plans are made to be changed. At times life presents unique opportunity that throws the entire plan in the air. Flexibility and adaptability are keys to survival. I would like to start the month laying out some objectives. These could include personal, increased exercise, clean out my bedroom closet, as well as work responsibilities and family items. For example, have a romantic evening with the significant other, or learn a video game from one of your children, then I break down the steps to get to my objectives. For example, if my objective is to get healthy and more physically active, I can write exercise four days a week. I block out the time in my calendar just like I would a business meeting. Most importantly, I give myself permission to meet the objective. On a daily basis, I like to start the morning by waking up, making list of three things that I can do today and advance my career. It gets me started in the right mindset. Thus a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step or three must-dos. Don't forget to acknowledge yourself for a job well done. So that's how to take the first step in your work family life balance. Up next, I am going to talk about how to set boundaries.