Viewing entries tagged
Work Life Balance

The 5 Work Life Balance Myths

The 5 Work Life Balance Myths

5MythsWorklifeBalance.png

If Work Life Balance - 'balance' is defined as "an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady" then frankly there is no such thing.  It is a myth.  A Mother Working Balance is "dividing yourself between multiple things, with unequal distribution" because the focus is #1 Mother and #2 Life.  That's our real life every day. [video width="854" height="480" mp4="http://www.whatifihadapa.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/powtoon-fqCTXknReBA.mp4"][/video]

Do You Want More Time For Your Kids

Do You Want More Time For Your Kids

Theresneverenoughtimetodoallthenothingyouwant.BillWatterson.jpg

There's never enough time! Give me more time #whatifihadapa #moretime #tools #technology I ran a session on Parental Leadership on 10th April.  In that session we went through one of the tools called 'Transparent Communication.'  It has 4 stages where:

  1. You recognise how you really feel
  2. You recognise how your child really feels (putting your self in their shoes)
  3. You acknowledge the two
  4. You make an authentic response in acknowledgement to address the feelings, and increase the parental attachment bond

There were 8 different parents, and every one in there acknowledgement at some point had time creep in as a factor.

Situation

We discussed and delved into the example of their 2 year old son screaming, shouting and saying he hates the time to get ready, from scrubbing his teeth and being ready to go to the nursery (kita).

Identify with own feelings:

The mother explained that she felt frustrated and needed to get to work (TIME).

 

Identify with the child’s feelings:

When she put herself in the shoes of the child, he wants to do it himself. However, both the father and mother expressed that they were worried about the teeth not being brushed properly. The father explained that he rewards chocolates if his son behaves and explains he can only have the chocolates if his teeth are clean.

Acknowledge

Hug and share each others feelings.

Authentic Response

They realised that the solution does not address the real issue. The anger from the child is because he wants to do it himself, and there is fear from the parents that he will not do it properly. The authentic response they created was to speak with him and explain that he will do it himself, and that Mummy and Daddy will show him how to do it and check after, where they may just need to get him to redo some areas or help. The real issue was anger caused by a wish for more independence, and the time pressure that they felt and the worry of incompleteness was creating a repetitive issue every morning.

Our Mission to Give Parents More Time 'Memories Over Chores'

Giving parents the tools and technology is not just to develop technology for technologies sake.  What we have done is develop a tool in a way that makes sense for parents, to organise their life, to suggest events that make a difference to them, to enable them to complete tasks like travel and shopping quicker / cheaper and in a way that adds value to their time.

The one thing we can give parents is time.  Join Us.

Our New Ebook Memories Over Chores. 60 Tips for the Power Parent

Our New Ebook Memories Over Chores. 60 Tips for the Power Parent

February 29th you had an extra 24 hours.  The revolution starts now. Make more time in your life everyday.  Our ebook Memories Over Chores. 60 Tips for the Power Parent http://ow.ly/YTKiU #Killthatmondaymorningblaaa  #whatifihadapa #disrupttime #memoriesoverchores

All images courtesy of Bigstock and Shutterstock.

Rainbow Sundays

DTJT4973 Sunday the last day of the weekend where we are packing everything into family time at this time of year is full of skiing.  It's usually the day where I am feeling tired and buzzing from lot's of memories, but also wanting to wind down a bit with the Monday start just one sleep away.  A favourite which takes the maximum of 30 minutes to pull together when we get back is a rainbow of vegetables, and dips.

Tahini Dip

Whizz in the blender: Tahini 1 Tbsp, garlic 1 bulb, Raspberry Honey 1/2 Tsp (from a family friend), Lemon Juice 2 Tbsp, Maldon Salt 1/2 Pinches, Water (until the right consistency).

Courgette and Tahini Dip

Courgette x 2 griddle panned, 2 Tbsp Tahini, 3/4 bulbs of Garlic, Tub of Coconut Yoghurt, Bunch of Fresh Mint

Vegetables Raw

Grated Raw Carrots - Yellow (sometimes I add Nigella seeds), Grated beetroots (with Lemon and flat leaf Parsley.

Roasted Vedgetables

Sweet Potato, Potatoes, Courgettes

Staying Fit with Kids - Time Hacks

Staying fit with kids brings out creativity in any parent, because time is short and precious.

  1. Getting up early at the top of the list for more time in the day, but it can frustrate night owls. As an early bird, getting up at 5 gives me so much more time in my day to ensure I get to go for either a run or do yoga.
  2. Boiling the kettle. I plank when I am boiling the kettle, this activity started when I took on a 30-day plank challenge. A quarter full kettle takes about 2.30 Minutes. You can extend the length of time as you build up endurance. This makes use of otherwise wasted time just waiting for the kettle to boil, working your core; ingenious!
  3. Clean eating, metabolism boosters and cleansers. Hot water and lemon, some Aloe Vera and eating clean no processed food means that no time is wasted in trying to repair any damage created by unhealthy foods.
  4. Lunch breaks are a great time for a working mothers or fathers to get out into the fresh air, build muscle and stimulate the natural renewal with a run.
  5. Getting in to work early means that you can leave a little earlier and be back before the kids get home, which allows you to do mediation or yoga working each muscle, and increasing you flexibility as well as health.
  6. A healthy sex life is in itself a work out without being crude; invest time for yourself and your partner, as well as increasing the heart rate.
  7. A healthy night’s sleep is just as important as eating right and exercising. I’m in bed by the latest 10 ready for an energy packed ‘tomorrow.’

Balance a new equation - 5 reasons your career is not = to success

Balance a new equation - 5 reasons your career is not = to success

The Balance Equation

Balance

  • Your career will not secure your health. Indeed nothing will, but time spent on exercise, nutrition and a healthy balance will lead to better long-term health.
  • Your career will not build the personal relationship with your family and friends.  Some of the biggest regrets have been time with partners, or children.  On their death bed no one ever said “I wish I would have spent more time on my job.”
  • Your career will not pick you up, or look after you when you are sick or feeling low.  I have had 2 friends who have recently burnt out.  This has led to some deep reflection of what do I have?  What does it mean?  They realise that all these years of focus on the wrong thing has cost them a lot.
  • Your career will not support you emotionally in retirement.  My mum retired this year she has worked hard since the age of 15, but always had a balance.  Every time I call home she is out catching up with old school friends, friends, salsa, at yoga and next year she is travelling for 6 months.  She has friendships that she has vested in for over 60 years, and which still give her a rich emotional quality of life.
  • Your career is not there in the morning to give you cuddles or long lasting memories. Your partner and children are.

Yes a career can provide financial stability, and a sense of achievement in the mental stimulation that a person may need, and the results they deliver.  It may even provide connections to people who become lifelong friends.  However, it is the actions outside of our career that provide the physical and emotional requirements that we need.  To live a truly balanced life we should not let that mental and financial requirement supersede the physical and emotional needs.

The next level of complexity is that it is not just about your financial, physical, emotional and mental requirements that provide balance. It is the balance of your requirements and whoever else exits in your unit for example: your partner, and children.

7 Tips for a Better Life Balance

7 Tips for a Better Life Balance

  1. Start your day early to give yourself the bandwidth to be productive at work, optimise on any personal responsibilities you have and enjoy life.

wakeupandlive

Harvard biologist Christoph Randler discovered in 2010 that early risers are more proactive. They were more likely to agree with statements like "I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself" and "I feel in charge of making things happen."

2. Know your threshold and when you need to say "no."  We can only attend so many social events and do so many favours.  If you live as a family a co-ordination of the calendar is best done together, so the family doesn't feel warn out trying to keep up with life.  If you start saying "no" then you start to get the space to enjoy life.

Say No

3. Have 'me time'.  Have an activity that is just for you, and for your partner too if you are in a relationship.  Everyone will have different hobbies, and indulgences.  My 'me time' is Yoga and my husbands computer games; typically civilisation.  We then have date nights together.

Core-Power-Yoga-Sherman-Oaks6

4. Make compromises based on what is important.  If you have a family, you may be thinking what did I do with my time before kids!  To deal with this make it easy on yourself and decide what is acceptable.

My House Was Clean Yesterday Sorry You Missed It

  • Make it acceptable for the house to be simply tidy and not necessarily super clean
  • If you can afford it, outsource jobs like gardening and cleaning.  You don't have to do everything yourself and try to be super mum.
  • If it works for the family consider less money for more flexibility; a 4 day week or even just a more family friendly company.
  • If it works for your family and a happy Mummy is at full time working one, then get some support at home; a nanny or au-pair.

It's okay do what works for your family.  Forget all the parent police, because you know your family best.

5. Have time and space to meditate.  I choose yoga which gives focus, energy, strength, health and meditation. Meditation techniques can take 5 minutes.

Meditation

6. Create a mindset, to support you in making decisions.  I had a request for an interview on a Saturday recently!  The answer was no without thinking. My husband is home for dinner and bath time each night, and leaves even when there is someone who wants another 5 minutes.  Our mindsets have changed  and are aligned.  Family time is sacred and a no go.

Mindset

7.  Understand how you function. Contrary to the mindful movement.  I do multiple things at a time and excel.  My brain works optimally on 5 things at once.  Find your optimal level at which you function, reduce or even increase with what works for you.  You are an individual so find your own technique.  For some people it may be 1 thing at a time (my husband), and for others more.  If you become non productive and or can't focus you know that you are under or over loaded.

Juggling Balls

 

I hope you find that life balance.

The 10 Habits of Mothers

I was not so bold as to include highly effective in the title, because I am one of those parents who admits I do not have all the answers.  That said these habits make my life significantly easier.  When I first read Stephen Covey’s 7 habits many years ago, it was great my life was all about work. I was a go getting graduate who was, and still is proactive, I had the end in mind, put myself in the other person’s shoes to understand first, thought to win and all the rest.

What life has taught me is that life is a lot more than work and to be effective I need 7 other habits.  I am not one person in work and another at home, and my work and life merges.

1.    Get Up Early

I get up at 5.30 – 6.00 so that I can get ready before the kids, and practice yoga.  This gives me energy, focus and health to complete the day.

2.    Put my Health First

 Although, the decisions are family first, if a person doesn’t have their health they cannot be there for the family.  It’s important to concentrate on insuring happiness and health.

3.    Put the Family at the Forefront of Decisions

Whether a person is working or not and running a family, there are always those decisions that need to be made.  Every household is different, and the key is it has to work for the household.  Think win-win does not necessarily come into it.  It may not be possible for both people to progress in their career.  One person may have to take a step back as the other takes a step forward to make sure that the overall family balance is a happy one.

4.    Keep a Little You

It’s important to keep a little you.  I worked 100% with my first daughter, and when my son came my office closed.  However, I am still completing my doctorate and hope to go back to work fulltime in a family friendly company.  I have other friends that still keep up their interests and or talents: writing, running, yoga and even find a channel to change careers.

5.    Multi Task

At nursery or school pick up time everything happens at once from feed, play, bath and bed.  The ability to multi task and not get stressed is essential.

6.    Understand Food

It’s not necessary to be a cooking goddess, but the ability to pull together a nutritious meal in 15 minutes is needed.  It keeps the family healthy, and understanding food means that there is less food to waste, as well as saving money.  The left overs can be reused into a left over pie, slightly old fruit can be chucked into a smoothie or crumble, and fish can be gutted and scraped to make fish cakes from scratch for a economical but nutritious meal.

7.    Story Teller

Language is a key enabler to communication, to learn more.  The capability to bring ‘Tinkerbell,’ ‘The Gruffalo’ and ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ to life is integral to an important life skill.

8.    Talent Finder and Grower

The ability to tune into what children love and support them in it even if that means hovering up billions of bits of playdoh, constantly being hands deep in paint and using architecture skills to build a Wendy house from boxes, paint and felt.

9.    Teacher

There seems to be too much left to teachers in schools.  There is still a role to play at home not just reading, maths and understating the world but also values and behaviour.

10. Adaptable and Learn

The truth is mothers have to adapt to situations all the time, and may even create new habits.   A mother makes mistakes, giggles sometimes because if they don’t find it funny they may just cry.  The important thing is they learn from it, and realise they are not perfect and will never be.   A mother may have to create a new habit to accommodate the needs of their child, because every child is different; but special.

5 Things To Ask To Get Balance

5 questions I asked to get balance in my life a personal experience.

 

What’s important to me?

When you ask this question then you may get the answer my son, my family, my partner or my friends first.  Or the answer could also be career it is not a sin for that to be the case. It is important to be honest in the order and priority.

I say I always have to have 5 things to have balance and the order of importance, my 1.  Husband, 2. Kids, (I could wrap that into one as family), but we are still our own entities and need things like date nights.  3. Career 4. Yoga (Me) 5. Learn (Doctorate)

What do I want to be important?

I ask this question because the answer to what’s important might not be the same.   I remember as a management consultant shortly into an assignment, being in my business apartment on a Sunday typing away on my laptop preparing for a workshop in the US.   At that moment I wished I had someone to share my life with, and my life was not just about my laptop and career.  What I truly wanted I didn’t have.    However, I had reached a point of truth, and verbalised.  Little did I realise then be careful what you wish for.

What do I need to do differently to get a chance of having what I really want?

Break the cycle.

I loathed the people that judged me because I was working all the time because it was not that easy to meet the right man.  At the time I was in Switzerland flying in and flying out the entire time still acting as a consultant.  I had taken an independent assignment, so I decided after the business trip to make a conscious effort to not fly back to London, but to integrate into Switzerland.  Think about what could change your circumstances.  It may be you want to achieve something else, but changing your routine, or putting boundaries in place can bring about change.

I went from flying back to practicing and teaching Yoga with my Swiss colleagues and now friends, captaining a Netball team, going out to different groups entrepreneurs, and social where I met so many new and like minded people.  As a consultant networking is normal, but we are never in one place really long enough.  2 months into my assignment I went to an event alone, could not find the group and asked a man where it was.  We talked the whole night and never looked up until we realised the whole bar was empty.  That man is now my husband and father to my 2 children,

I continually ask this question.  After having kids I have been clear to set my boundaries.  I get in early, but I am leave on time to pick up my kids.  I am not about being present but being effective.

What’s the most important thing in life? Answer ME

This may sound like an arrogant answer, but it is true.  If you do not have your health you can’t be there for your partner, children, do your job or whatever else is important to you.  It is so easy to go back into a cycle that disturbs the balance, but before you do, ask yourself that question.  Continue on a positive cycle that brings what you define as balance.

What is it going to take?

What support, people and things do I need to put in place or change to take ownership of my life?  It may be that some of the old people and things that you have go, because they don’t fit into their way you want to balance your life.  Be brave enough to stop.  I decided to stay in Switzerland even though I was only on an assignment.  This was risky because I had to learn German to stay and work here in industry, get a permit to stay by getting a permanent job, give up my place and things in the UK.

I am a girl that asked these five questions.  I came to Switzerland with 2 suitcases and 5.5 years later I have what I define as balance.  A lot has changed and most of all my mind set.

4 out of 6 jobs made easier

Jobs Made Easier

  1. Cleaning – cleaning with 2 toddlers is only fun because my daughter is obsessed with mopping….but for our house to get a proper clean my cleaner is my angel.
  2. Gardening – gardens are meant for enjoying Prosecco unless you enjoy gardening, a gardener will make sure your grass is cut and plants survive.
  3. Ironing – just iron as you wear it.
  4. Washing – I haven’t managed to outsource that, and there is a magician in my house that magically creates 2 more loads every time I have finished one.
  5. Cooking – easy and quick recipes.  I still cook every night, but it's my passion.  If youa re stuck for creativity there are lots of food sites out there.
  6. Admin – if only I could get a PA.

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