Finding Time – The Never Ending Balancing Act

Posted on May 13, 2016

By Crystal Olson

 

Finding enough time in the day seems to be a common theme for so many of us working Mom’s out there.  Finding enough time to get the house cleaned after an already busy day of work and running the kids to activities after school seems impossible a lot of the time.  As a full time working mom and part time entrepreneur of a farming business, the daily juggling of making sure I have time for everything never ends!  For me it is important to find the balance between work, running the house, being an active mom and running a business.  That balance is not easy to attain, and I will be the first to admit it is something that I am constantly working on. 

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Planning is the key to everything! 


Planning is they key to everything! I am one of those people that make lists upon lists, and revise them often!  I plan everything, whether it is formally written into my day calendar, scribbled on the monthly whiteboard calendar hanging in the kitchen, or drafting my planting and animal schedule in a spreadsheet for the farm.  Short term planning for the day, week and month is a key aspect of balancing time.

While planning is important, it is also important to prioritize your time and the activities you do.  If you are working on a project that isn’t due right away, or can wait, focus on what has the greatest need. Ask yourself, do I need to do this now, or can it wait?   When I ask myself this question, a lot of the time it circles back to the planning I have done.  Revisiting goal lists, planning lists or action plans reminds me of what the priority.

If you are a mother, you know that your children will likely make themselves a priority; however not always in the most tactful way!    I have found that by integrating my children into the business activities it produces numerous benefits.  I appreciate the time with my children while working, they learn important skills and I have witnessed their confidence grow because it.  We get the quality meaningful time together they deserve, while learning valuable skills like responsibility, gardening, harvesting and animal care; an added bonus is the tasks get accomplished! Of course this isn’t the only family time we have, but it certainly does increase the amount of time we spend together which is amazing!

The Precious "me" time...


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You may have noticed I haven’t mentioned finding time for myself!  Or the precious ‘me’ time as we so often refer to it as!  Like so many other women, my day starts early, and this is usually where I schedule in daily ‘me’ time.  It certainly isn’t long but is vital to bringing me a sense of calm.  Before I wake the kids, I enjoy coffee with a book or browsing the internet.  I like to refer to it as the quiet before the storm!  I really do enjoy working, being a mom, and running a part time farming business; so a lot of my ‘me’ time needs are fulfilled through that, especially the farming; that is my joy!  Balancing your time can feel impossible at times, but if you find your joy, it makes it so much easier.

So up until this point you are probably thinking I have it together right? Well....I will be the first to say, NO!  I really don’t. I balance my time well, however I struggle with not asking for help.  Anyone that knows me, and really knows me can testify to this fact.  I like to accomplish my goals that I set every day, which most of the time I do.  However, I could finish my tasks more easily or quicker if I just stopped and asked for help.  Whether it is my partner, kids, coworkers or friends I should be able to ask for help from time to time and not feel disappointed in myself.  I know for myself; and I find a lot of women can relate with this, asking for help is a challenge.  So why is that? Pride? Proving something to someone or ourselves?  I believe it really might come down to personal reasons that vary for each of us.  Whether in your career, your business or at home we need to be supported as women, and feel comfortable enough to ask for help.  We can accomplish so much more by working together, and not stress so much.  Asking for help is a part of balancing time; and we can manage time better by alleviating some of the stress we often bring on ourselves.  Implementing small changes, like asking for help, or writing down our goals can make an immense difference in the quality of life we allow ourselves to enjoy.  So I challenge you to find time for yourself, bring some balance and don’t be afraid to ask for help!

 

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Crystal Olson is the Lead Business Counsellor at PARO in Thunder Bay.She works with all women in Northern Ontario to start and grow their businesses. She also works with youth and is an advocate of the growing world of Social Enterprise. Crystal was born and raised in a farming community in Southern Ontario and moved to Northern Ontario over 15 years ago.  She has a strong desire to support community economic development in rural communities. Crystal completed her Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Bachelor of Education Degree at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. She is currently developing her own rural agriculture business, and resides in the Kakabeka Falls area with her husband and two children.

 

Want to know how to create "me time"" http://www.lessdramamoremama.com/making-time-for-the-alone-zone/