Here are the steps I used to find balance in my life.
List everything that you need (or want) to accomplish in this season of life. List them in order of importance. My order of priorities look like this: a) husband b) kids c) home d) work e) self. These are generic – my initial list was much more detailed than this.
Is there time to fit everything in? If not, start scratching off items at the bottom of your list. You can always squeeze them in as time allows. For now you just want to make sure you have time for the top priorities in your life.
I decided to break my day up into big segments: morning, afternoon, and evening. Find what works for you and break up your day. Then start plugging your priorities into the segments of your day. I try to make sure I get every priority into each day – even if it’s just getting my teeth brushed to accomplish my “self” priority. The items at the top of my life get big chunks of my day and the items at the bottom of my list are squeezed in to what remains. My mornings consist of housework, time with the kids, and/or errands. Afternoons are my time to work. Evenings hold our family time and more work for me after the kids are in bed.
If my housework isn’t done by 11:30 when my “morning block” ends, that’s ok. I stop what I’m doing and move on. I’ll come back to it later if there’s extra time at the end of the day. If work isn’t done at 4pm, oh well. I’ll finish it after the kids are in bed or save it for the next day. Don’t get sucked in to one priority and forget about the others.
I protect my time with my husband by NOT working past 10pm. This ensures that we have time before bed to talk and that we go to bed together instead of the hours apart it used to be. I also take one night off completely and we have a date night at home. To protect my time with my kids I keep my laptop off, ipad away, and phone on silent for most of the morning. When they need me I can respond right away and cater to their needs without having to be snapped out my “technology coma”. I also have one day a week where I do NO WORK at all.