Ladies, have I got a treat for you today! I know I am not alone when I say that sometimes I feel I wear too many hats – mother, wife, teacher, business owner, volunteer, group leader…I love all my roles, but it can be difficult to know where to put my focus at times. I can get overwhelmed and then find myself only giving half heartedly to each role.
When I found Angie through our group Blogging With Heart, I was immediately drawn to her writing. She writes for me…well, entrepreneur moms like me who struggle to keep it all together. She has some great business tips and advice for us and it mends so seamlessly with motherhood that you walk away inspired. I was thrilled when she offered to write for us here and I know it will bless you! Thank you so much Angie!
As business owners, bloggers, moms, and volunteer workers, we all know what stress and overwhelm feel like. Boundaries are important in life, but they are hard to manage in today’s online society. Sometimes, this becomes overwhelming, and you find yourself just going through the motions of your day without really stopping to think about what you’re doing. Soon, a stressful day turns into a stressful week, and you haven’t really taken a moment to yourself. During these times, we need to realize how important it is to step away and take the time to refocus. This can help us come back to work refreshed and enthusiastic again.
Step Away From Distractions
It’s so easy to turn to distractions when you begin to feel stressed with work and life. Some days I feel like too many people need me at once, which can make me want to shut down and forget all of my responsibilities. When I feel that happening to me, I make sure to step away from all of my distractions so that I can have time to really refocus and think about what’s important.
- I close out all social media accounts, so I’m not tempted to check notifications.
- My cell phone is turned off and put away.
- No television is allowed until I am able to get back to my productivity for the day.
Distractions like these can keep you from getting your important tasks done, which can lead to an even bigger feeling of overwhelm. In order to have a good work-life balance, you need to be able to recognize when you are too distracted to work.
Take Time for To-Do Lists
On busy days, it can start to feel like you can’t possibly get everything done. It can really help to put everything down on paper. You can then prioritize your list and get as much done as possible.
My favorite way to start a big to-do list is a brain dump. It’s really unorganized and messy, but it really helps relieve stress and get a chance to refocus on what’s important. Once everything is out of your head and on the paper, you can begin organizing your list by priority. You don’t have to get everything done today. When you start to glorify being busy and tying your self-worth up in how long your to-do list is, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and exhaustion. This is a habit that can lead to feeling burnt out and keep you from enjoying the work you used to love.
Only you know what you can feasibly get done in one day. Prioritize your to-do list so that you don’t feel overwhelmed before you even start. You can even set a reward for staying on task. Mine is that I can relax and check social media for a few minutes.
Set Boundaries to Allow Time to Refocus
If you work at an office, you usually have more clear-cut boundaries between work time and home time. You are able to leave your office, get in your car, and drive home. When you work at home, though, you don’t usually get that transition. I don’t know about you, but I truly go from sitting at the dining room table working, and walk 10 steps over to the living room when my day is over.
This makes it way too easy to “just check in” throughout the night or weekend. Since everything comes through our phones, it’s easy to know right away if a client needs us after hours. Now, there are professionals that are expected to be on-call at all hours, but I’m certainly not one of them. There is no need for me to be answering emails during family time. Unless your work deals with emergencies of some sort, there isn’t much need for you do that, either!
Take the time to define your work hours, and be sure to stick to them. This means no phone calls, emails, or social media interactions beyond a certain point. Allow yourself the time you need to relax and refocus, and come back to work tomorrow.
Unwind, Refocus, and Renew
Setting boundaries and allowing yourself time to step away from work can make a huge difference in your day. When you give yourself time to relax, you are able to come back energized, refocused, and renewed. This can help you feel more creative and enthusiastic about your tasks. We do what we do because we love it. Don’t let overwhelm and overwork take the joy out of your work.
Angie is a wife and mother of 2 girls. She is an avid volunteer worker, blogger, and small business owner. Her writing consists of business and organization tips, discussions on motherhood, and many other topics that affect moms both working and staying at home. Read more on her blog ThirtySomethingAngie and stay connected.