All right my legal ladies, I am pleased to post this entry as our very first Objective Four Discussion Topic! I will share my own tips for leading a well balanced lifestyle, but I want to hear from our readers! I don't have a family or kids yet, so input from those of us who are super lawyers AND super moms is crucial!
Amanda S. wants to discuss:
"Objective Four: How to balance work life with a meaningful family life,
without sacrificing success, pay grades, or respect from our male
Ah. The ever-elusive work-life balance. In a society where women are encouraged to "have it all," we often find ourselves over-committed and under-caffeinated. As smart, successful women, it's likely we all have smart, successful partners in our lives as well. This is a great foundation for a relationship, but demanding work schedules, the needs of our kids, and mandatory errands can make it feel like we are just co-existing separately during the week. So, how do we find balance, and more immediately, how do we prevent ourselves from keeling over from exhaustion?
The following are three of my work-life balance secrets that have served me well.
First, I make sure I allot time for a transition from work to home. For me, this means going from work to the gym, and processing the day while I jam out to my favorite tunes on the treadmill. Doing this daily during the work week is super important for me, because I need that time to decompress. If I go straight to the gym for a workout, I get to mull over the highs and lows of my day, what I accomplished, and what I need to look our for tomorrow. By the time I am done working out, I have a good idea of where I have been that day at work, and where I need to go the next day. If I go home without this transition, random thoughts pop up throughout the evening while I am cooking, watching TV, and worst of all, trying to get to sleep. For example, I skipped the gym one day last week and had NIGHTMARES about drafting briefs. SO. WRONG. I get that the gym isn't for everyone, especially not in downtown Oakland in rush hour. So, do what works for you! Grab your dog and go for a walk, run a errand you kind of like to run, grab a cup of tea on the way home, have a seat in a nearby park for 15 minutes and just enjoy the day. If you allow yourself time to process the day, the quality of time you spend at home with family and friends will dramatically improve.
Second, I keep good boundaries and I am regular about it. I recently transitioned to the private sector, which means I also transitioned into more required hours. Before I started, I figured out a plan and made sure my employer was totally cool with it. I opt to go into work at 7:15 a.m. everyday, but the upside is that I am always out the door of the office no later than 5:30 p.m. I put in the same number of hours as everyone else and get the same amount of work done, so I maintain the respect of my co-workers. Another benefit of the early bird work schedule? You would be amazed at how much you can accomplish without the phones ringing and your email pop-up pinging incessantly! Sure, there are times when we have trial and I can't keep this schedule, but those days are the exception and not the rule. On the weekend, I avoid work unless it is necessary, but I always carve out one day during the weekend to focus quality time on family and friends. Not only do they appreciate it, they deserve it for being so wonderful to me!
Third, I try to do the best I can to take good care my myself. I cook healthy food for myself, I make sure I get at least enough sleep to function, and I carve out a little time to do things like get a brow wax or paint my nails. When I feel good inside and out, I am more productive at work, and more positive at home.
Well ladies, I hope my tips can help you, and I can't wait to put together a blog containing all of YOUR advice!
Please post your key tips for maintaining a healthy work-life balance in the comments, and I will assemble a mega-list for us all in a blog post! :)