The Secret Art of Blending Work-Life Balance
Want to know my secret to getting it all done? Read on to find out what “blending” is and how you can incorporate it into your life today.
When I was an early business owner, I was doing it all…renovating my office space, building the furniture, taking the calls, and managing the cash flow, and managing my home. I didn’t know blending existed and I’m sorry I didn’t!
Then, when I became a mom my life changed. All of a sudden all the time I already didn’t have became more precious. I felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland, only my Wonderland was more like a personal entrepreneurial hell of a never-ending to-do list while trying to take care of an adorable baby.
Something had to give, so I started making some subtle changes that combined 2 tasks at once. So for example, when the baby fell asleep in the stroller, I was making work calls. When I was interviewing staff for new positions, I was feeding the baby. And you know what? All of a sudden my out of control life started to feel “normal.” Eureka!
This blending of tasks became a new exciting challenge from that moment on. A challenge to gain back time, control, and get my motivation mojo back baby!
Blending is essentially when you combine tasks at the same time.
The following are my top 3 examples of when I max my blending with 2 activities…
My Top 3 Examples:
- Phone Calls: Talking on the phone while doing something else like walking, cooking, feeding a child, etc.
- Waiting: Doing anything else while you are on hold or waiting, whether on the phone or watching the pot to make some mac n’ cheese (exercise, laundry, work stuff, whatever!)
- Driving: Listening to audio while driving (webinars, podcasts, audio messages from your boss, robots reading your e-mail, etc.)
Seriously, if you are just sitting there talking or waiting you can do something else. Once you start, you’ll start to see how much time gets wasted and also how much time can be saved with blending alone.
If you are in management or participate in high-level meetings where you don’t necessarily need to show any data, you could go for a walk, talk on your phone and be present at the meeting to listen and contribute ideas, and viola! Meeting and exercise accomplished at the same time.
Another thing I blend while doing admin work for business is learning. I usually have an audiobook or podcast on in the background. If you are doing something that needs some focus, you can put it on repeat to catch what you didn’t before. As I hear things I want to explore further I write them down for another time…I learn so much while blending my time!
If you are a parent, chances are you are blending already in some way. Maybe you are making calls while you feed or walk the baby. If not, now is a great time to start! The smaller they are, the easiest this is. You can wear the baby and vacuum at the same time rather than rocking them and worrying about vacuuming at the same time. Genius!
Walking them in a stroller? Listen to a podcast or audiobook…you get me time and your baby gets some fresh air. Win-win! Once the simple things can be combined with other simple things, you will start to feel the difference, especially as a parent where me-time is limited.
I also do a lot of my admin work during remote learning. When I need to jump in and help while the teacher is instructing I do. After, when I need to be hands-on for a project or worksheet I am 100% there. However, when my daughter is watching videos or trying assignments on her own that are interactive-I go back to my administrative work and she knows to ask for help if she needs it.
When I’m doing laundry, I’m making work calls. When I’m playing hide-n-seek, I’m hiding in a yoga pose (usually tree pose). You get the point! Trust me, blending changes everything once you figure out the times you can make it happen.
Blending as a Strategy:
Blending does take some strategy at first before it comes naturally. If you are a “lister” (a.k.a someone who loves their to-do lists) I recommend going through your list and looking for “match” items you can pair together for blending. Have fun with it and pretend you are setting up a task on a blind date with another task! Some people like to write all the tasks on post-its and then match them together…whatever works for you, do it!
Some blending, you may find doesn’t work and that’s ok. It’s all about trying it out and seeing what works and what doesn’t. The important piece of this is finding what works, saving time, and gaining control over your busy life.