Are You Juggling Too Many Responsibilities?
As we get older, life’s responsibilities can start to pile up. From work to household chores to childcare, these responsibilities can slowly begin to eat away at our free time. This is a sad but natural sacrifice of growing up, however what happens when you have no free time at all? Worse still, what happens when you can barely find time to cater for all your responsibilities?
If you feel you’re drowning under these responsibilities it could be time to re-evaluate the way you manage them. Here are just some ways that you can take back control of your life without sacrificing the things dearest to you.
Prioritize your responsibilities correctly
Some people make the mistake of prioritising the wrong responsibilities. This could include putting too many hours into work to the point that it damages your relationship with your family. Others may be focusing all their energy on kids and work, and no time on household duties letting their home go to ruin. It’s even possible to spend too much energy focused on children or a pet to a point that a relationship suffers because you’re not spending time with one another.
Start thinking about what’s really important and what you really want in the future. There’s no point spending extra hours earning more to give your family a better a future if it could risk you losing your family due to neglecting them for work. Similarly, there’s no point spending all your energy on your children and not your partner only to cause a breakup that then disrupts your children’s lives anyway.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
It’s okay to let other people take some of the strain temporarily so that you can focus your energy on other priorities or simply take respite. If you’re a mother that wants to go back to work, look into asking a friend or family member who can babysit. Alternatively, you could hire a dependable childminder using a site such as Find A Babysitter or use a daycare facility. You may even be dealing with the responsibility of aging parents in which case you may want to hire some professional care to take off the pressure using a company such as CareBuilders at Home. You may even be able to ask people to cover for you at work whilst you focus on family commitments. Start seeing asking for help as a sign of strength and not a sign of weakness – you could be causing greater damage in the long run by not asking for help.
Learn to say no to added burdens
There may be people in your life that continue to pile on the responsibilities. It’s important to know when to say no as you could be creating more stress for yourself by taking on these responsibilities. This could include saying no occasionally to an employer who asks you to work overtime or saying no to a friend or family member that’s constantly offloading their responsibilities onto you.
Weigh up the consequences of saying yes against the consequences of saying no. Not agreeing to work overtime won’t lose you your job, although may irk your employer – is this greater or less than the damage it could have on your relationship with your partner for coming home late again? Similarly if a family member wants you to babysit their kids for them last minute but you’d planned to tidy the house, weigh up whether it’s really an emergency for them – could they ask someone else to babysit the kids and are they takin advantage of your unwavering generosity?
It’s possible you may be able to handle multiple responsibilities at once, but you should weigh up whether you’re really going to manage these multiple responsibilities to the best of your ability. Working from home could allow you to spend more time around your family, but make sure that you’re not having to juggle childcare and household chores whilst working to the point that you can barely focus on your work. That said, cleaning the house and looking after children may be quite possible – even young kids could be strapped to you in a sling or left to play by themselves in a playpen.
Work smarter, not harder
There may be more efficient ways of handling your responsibilities so that you’re spending less time on them. This could involve buying gadgets to speed up household chores such as a dishwasher or a tumble dryer. You may be able to find a job doing the same role that allows you to work less hours for the same amount of money. There may even be parental tricks that you can learn to get your children to sleep more quickly so that you can handle other responsibilities. Start considering the tasks that are eating away your time and how you can speed them up.
Make room for your own free time
Whilst having enough time to look after all your responsibilities is important, it’s also important to make room for free time. As selfless as you may be, sometimes you need to be selfish for the benefit of others. Having time to relax and focus on personal goals will make you happier by making you feel less trapped. Without this free time, you could start to feel depressed and stressed which could cause you to neglect other responsibilities due to exhaustion or lack of motivation.
You’re best off scheduling in free time each week so that you’re always guaranteed these slots of personal leisure. This will give you time to arrange babysitting plans if you need them. You can even notify your employer so that you don’t have to work late on these days. On top of regular small slots of free time, give yourself a long break from these responsibilities every so often. This could be a holiday away with your partner and no kids or simply a day off to spend with friends whilst someone looks after kids and pets.