The day consists of 24 hours and a week consists of 168 hours of which you need to sleep 49 at a minimum. In the remaining 120 hours you need to work, take care of yourself, family member and other assorted tasks. You will never have more hours and you should not be cutting into your 49 hours of sleep. However, life is never clean and simple and there will always be something that throws a schedule off track. Therefore it is a myth that you can balance everything and achieve everything you want because there are just not enough hours, especially if you are focused on a large goal. Something has to give and it is better to plan for it than to overstress yourself.
What I am saying is that focus on the big thing you want to accomplish and work the other things around your big item. An example would be if you are going to college. That is a big thing. If you are doing it as a working parent that is a bigger thing because you also have the responsibility of caring for your family and providing an income.
You work 8 hours a day and commute another 2 hours. That is another 50 hours from the 120. That leaves you 70 hours during the week assuming you do not work overtime. During that time you go to school for 4 hours a day that is another 20 hours. With the 50 hours left, you have to cook, clean grocery shop, care for and spend time with your kids and spouse as well as study. Here are five tips that will help you survive;
· Speed cleaning saves a ton of time and helps you to keep the house presentable if not immaculate. Jeff Campbell’s book breaks it down into simple steps or Flylady.com can help you to take baby steps to planning and getting the cleaning done.
· Plan and prepare your meals one day a week. Emeals.com is a great menu option and they take into account what is on sale at the grocery store. If not there are many make-ahead meal plans and books out there. It is worth that time one day a week to have home cooked healthy dinners so you do not have to survive on microwave meals and fast food.
· Plan without exception so personal down time that includes physical activity. This can be a walk, a dvd, going to the gym, whatever allows you to move your body and gives you some time for yourself at least three days a week. It is essential for your health. Being sick will not help you survive the big thing you are trying to accomplish.
· Plan one day a month as family time with an outing. This is not chore time, this is time for you to bond and make memories. It is the positive time that makes going for that big goal worth it.
· Know your why. Are you going to school to advance your career, or to change careers? Are you focusing on physical fitness because your health has suffered? Whatever your big thing is you have to know your reason or it will not be worth it. You need to remind yourself that this is the big thing that will change and make the sacrifice worth it.
You need to remember that life is a journey not a destination and that you need to enjoy that trip. You also have to remember that you cannot have everything and please everyone; all that
will do is lead to poor health or drive you crazy. You can achieve the big stuff but remember no one has died from a ferocious dust bunny and no one other than yourself expects life to be perfect.