Monday, January 30, 2017

Published Monday, January 30, 2017 by

Working mums dilemma - when work and home both need more of your time

getting through a manic week as a working mum when work and home both need more time

Being a working mum has been an interesting challenge over the years. Most of the times I just about manage trying to juggle both home and work, however  there are times when my two worlds collide and I find myself in demand on all fronts. This is one of those times.

Thinking of everything I need to try get done by this time next week, I have no idea how I will get through it.

So here is my list .... it's long. I realise that much of the work stuff might not make sense to anyone who is not a consultant programme manager. It basically boils down to a whole lot of meetings, paperwork, and following up with different people.

The scary part is that this does not include all the stuff that I usually need to do over the course of a week - spending time with the family, commuting, working on my blog, reading and sharing other blogs, cooking, and if i am lucky a few minutes of me time.

Home
Work
  • Meet with nursery to discuss my daughters progress
  • Follow up with school to get key points from the mid-day meeting that I was unable to attend
  • Arrange a physio session
  • Think about what we need for our holiday in 2 weeks 
  • Look into replacing my oven which stopped working on boxing day
  • Monthly night out with local parents support group
  • Remember to buy and send birthday cards for friends birthdays (which were in January)
  • Try and think of something for Valentines day, so I can arrange it before we go on holiday

  • Oversee my project team (a team of 23), while the programme manager is on holiday
  • Complete annual performance reviews and provide feedback sessions
  • Prepare for my own annual review
  • Finalise my programme plan for the year, with input from each of the 6 project managers
  • Strategy planning for 14 employee support initiatives to be carried out in 2017
  • Find 4 people to support 2 new projects
  • Support one of my project managers to prepare for & deliver a workstream review meeting to agree what they need to focus on
  • Prepare materials for a programme update meeting with programme sponsors, and other key senior managers, in 2 weeks
  • Support & mentor a junior team member as they start a new short-term assignment

So what to do when things get too hectic and there are not enough hours in the day? Experience has taught me that  the best way to get through weeks like this is to 
  • Put my head down and get on with it, and not spend too much time worry about the size of my to do list. Worrying just takes up precious time. 
  • Focus on what is critically important, everything that is not critical can wait.
  • Don't try for perfection and be happy with "good enough". This means that I only do the minimum required to get the job done., anything extra is wasted effort. 
  • Ask for help, and enlist the people around me to help get the job done. I am a big fan of outsourcing tasks if I can.
  • Make the most of dead time, such as commuting to and from work. This is a great time for dealing with admin, especially if it involves internet research.

Thankfully the busy time will only be for a few weeks, after which we are off on a week long family holiday. I just hope that I survive the week, and have the energy required to head off on my holiday.