Career Magazine

How to Manage It All

By Olgadegtyareva @olga_degtyareva

(We have a nanny coming 3 times a week, not 3 times a day like I said in the video ;-) )

I get this question all the time: “Olga, how do you manage it all: family, working at university, running your own business (productivity mentoring) and all other things while staying positive and relaxed at the same time?”

The key here is that I manage all what I want, not what the other people want from me or expect from me, but all what I want. And I hope that by now you are clear on what you want and on your priorities.

Today we want to focus on answering this question: how to manage it all. We want to focus especially on how to find balance between your work and your life, and your work and your family if you have one, or your hobbies, your friends and so on.

I want to give you concrete tips on how to do this. Because what often the problem is that when we are at work we feel the longing to be with our family or our friends feeling guilty that we are spending little time with them. When we do our hobbies or spending time with families and friends we think we better be working now. And this is a problem! Because you are never really there with your thoughts, you are not really present in what you are doing.

Today I’ll share with you TWO concrete approaches on how to manage it all.

First, break your big project down into small manageable doable tasks. Something you can manage in 15 or 30 min.

For example I broke down this task of making this video ezine for you into several small manageable tasks: 1) I already thought what I am going to talk about, 2) I have already scripted what I am going to say and now 3) I am only left with the task of recording this video. And this I knew I could squeeze into some short quiet time (or relatively quiet time).

And if you don’t have a young family you can still use this approach to your advantage. For example, at work where you have lots of different projects and you are busy with them and you want to move forward with this one particular project, you just break it down into small manageable tasks that are 15 min long. And if you are busy with other projects during the day and happened to have 15 min or 30 min time you can just focus on this one project and complete those tasks.

So your first approach is to break everything down into small manageable tasks and do them here and there spending some little focused time on them.

The second approach is to get support. You can get support in many different ways to help you to manage it all. You can get support from friends that take it all positively, who feel they are on top of everything. So if you hang out with some friends and colleagues who really feel like they manage it all – you’ll get some of this positive energy as well.

Support could be in terms of help with your household and you family and could be provided by a nanny or a housecleaning. We have a nanny coming here three times a week, and she takes the boys somewhere where they love going and I know that I can just focus on work during this time.

The support could be in terms of a mentor. I myself have two mentors with whom I have private coaching sessions. With one of them in particular I discuss family issues and constantly find new inspirations, get some support for particular situations.

The support could be in terms of a mentoring scheme at work or some support organisations for example for women in research or for your particular nationality if you are an international student.

And of course the support can be in terms of coaching with me – I provide support for researchers and beyond: support in productivity, in the mindset, how to manage it all and at the same time feel happier in your life. And this is why I think it is so important for myself to be getting support – I myself have two mentors – so that I can provide support to others.

These are the two strategies I wanted to share with you. I hope you find them useful.

Your assignment for today is

1) Take the project that you are not managing and break it down into manageable tasks that will take about 15 min or 30 min to complete. It is easy to find this little time and stay focused and do those tasks.

2) See if there is a support around you that you are not taking advantage of at this moment. Start taking advantage of it!

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