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Doing it all - Work/Life Balance

  • #2
    Moderators, Education Moderators, Music Moderators Posts: 4,442 Suaimhneach


    I've thought about this for AGES. Hopefully this is a good place to post it.

    When you have a full time job that is demanding (hopefully in a good way), a social life that is busy (in a good way) a home (and all that goes with a home; cleaning, ironing) and you want to be healthy (buying & cooking good food, making time to exercise) and (maybe) you don't even have kids yet, and yet it's nigh on impossible to keep on top of everything while also having any semblance of "off-time", which is vitally important if you are to every enjoy the fruits of your labour, how are you supposed to keep on top of it all?

    Surely there are some life-hacking approaches to this?

    Firstly, I can think of out-sourcing. Cleaning and ironing services? I'm reluctant to do this, which might be silly but I just have it built into me thats something really rich people do. But it's also not something I want to spend one day of my two days off every weekend doing.

    What do you guys think, in general (not of my reluctance to have a cleaner!)?


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Comments

  • #2


    Interesting thoughts...

    One thing I try to do is get up early some mornings and do stuff like this before heading out to work...your not fully awake, and you don't really need to be :)

    Also, I got rid of my ntl recently, you would be surprised how much of your life you can get back by not sitting and flicking around tv getting the odd good show in between all the ads!


  • #2


    I've been struggling with this two, esp since we've had a 2nd child. And getting basic things done is hard, and more so to get time for myself. What I do is cut corners-stuff that can do without an iron-doesn't get ironed. And e.g if I'm boiling the kettle, I'd tidy up whilst waiting. But one needs a routine to get it done-this from someone who's on the internet and has a bedroom that needs a major tidy-up


  • #2


    Yeah, personally, I'm REALLY bad at house stuff - in general, finding the time is hard, secondly I'm not very good at it cuz I dont do it very often or when I do I dont put a huge amount of time into it.

    I welcome small tips, they're always good (ie. not watching TV and multitasking) but I'm kinda looking for a bigger picture outlook too. How do I prioritise ALL of the above, or is that impossible?


  • #2


    one way to cut down on TV is to highlight all the stuff you want to watch and only watch that stuff.

    price outsourcing - and then work out how long it woud take to earn that much and compare it to how long it will take

    do the ironing/washing while watching TV


    If you avoid greasy food washing up is quicker or even use paper plates ( what is the carbon foot print of a dishwasher ? )

    listen to shows while you commute


  • #2


    do you know I've been thinking about this since yesterday, and I've come to the conclusion that its impossible.
    If you work it out-pm me please.
    Right now, I'm trying to figure out if I can afford a cleaner or accept that my hse will always be messy


  • #2


    The less you own, the better off you are.

    And I'd get rid of the telly entirely. Nothing but brain-melting crap.


  • #2


    So, I dont watch much tv at all, except in the rare instances when I specifically want some brain mush. And I think the time I'd save not-watching-tv wouldnt make up for all the time I'd need to balance all the things I listed...

    (I watch TV efficently, with no ads and only the shows that are worthwhile!)


  • #2


    NecroSteve wrote: »
    The less you own, the better off you are.

    And I'd get rid of the telly entirely. Nothing but brain-melting crap.
    Ted : Dougal, you can't sit around here watching television all day - chewing gum for the eyes!

    Dougal : Oh no thanks Ted, I've got these crisps, here.


  • #2


    One thing you could do is spend a morning/evening cooking up for the week and freeze them(a partner comes in handy) also the same with ironing. Then devote 2/3 hours once a week to heavy cleaning ie: bathrooms/doors etc and finally shop once a week or less and double up on some things like coffee/beans/cooking oil etc so that eventually you will be able to go to your own little shop saving you another trip to the store. Now finally when all that is done its Desperate Housewives Time with one or both of your favourites..a man/woman and a glass or smokie.;)


  • #2


    hi suaimhneach,
    my house was, essentially upsetting me and I was getting tiny things done, i.e dishes washed in the morning, and it was stressing me. also the fact if anyone just dropped in, I was embaressed that I had let my hse get this messy. Now its not like a hse on a decluttering programme, but still....
    So, I did three things
    1. got a cleaner for 2hrs every fortnight. she is brilliant and it is unbelievable how happy a clean hse can make one. It meant that she made a start on stuff that I wasn't getting to, like skirting boards, and now I can concentrate on getting thru the rest of the hse
    2. I threw out my big bin, and replaced it with a small pedal bin thats emptied once/twice a day
    3. Signed up with flylady.com. Looked at it before, thought it was a load of ocd nonsense, but this time thought lets give it a go. start with one day at a time on the beginners steps, it says to do that, but I did look ahead. I am not putting pressure on myself now about it, just taking one day at a time


  • #2


    What do you guys think, in general (not of my reluctance to have a cleaner!)?
    Mother hires a cleaner once a week for €35 to hoover the house, and do bits of cleaning. Cleaner does it all in about 3 hours. Mother found the cleaner through word of mouth (said cleaner also cleans other houses locally). Cleaner also irons a few clothes as well, but does it at the start.
    If you avoid greasy food washing up is quicker or even use paper plates ( what is the carbon foot print of a dishwasher ? )
    Don't forget the price of buying the paper plates & recycling them, and they look very tacky.
    NecroSteve wrote: »
    The less you own, the better off you are.

    And I'd get rid of the telly entirely. Nothing but brain-melting crap.
    I don't see the point of working 40 hours a week if you can't enjoying not working. I like "brain melting crap", esp the documentaries.
    mickeyjo wrote: »
    3. Signed up with flylady.com
    That's a rather odd site. Will look at it later.


  • #2


    One thing I've found saves me a bunch of time is shopping for groceries online. I'm based in NY and use a service called Fresh Direct. As far as I know Tesco deliver in Irealnd. The site will save down your order, and normally will give you a 2hr window to get your food delivered. Do you're shopping from work, and then just make sure you're home when it's delivered.

    This has def saved me a couple of hours a week, and saved me from one of the chores I used to hate. Plus you'll save some cash cause you'll just buy what you actually need, instead of a ton of junk when you're walking around the supermarket.


  • #2


    great idea!


  • #2


    Lots of great tips guys - keep em coming.

    So far, just maintaining a clean-as-you go with occasional deep cleans. But ultimately, cleaning takes time so for me... acceptance is the challenge.

    Was going to get a cleaner over for a deep clean but it was like 200 for 3 hours - think I'll try find someone more local instead.

    Any other tips for non-housework related things that help improve 'doing it all'?


  • #2


    Hey suimhneach I know what you mean.
    People will say that its impossible, and I would almost agree.

    Don't work 40 hours per week is one idea. This might mean working independently or for yourself, or on contracts, or job share rather than full time employed.

    Second idea is to get a job abroad, where they will pay for your house, maid, etc.
    However your free time in this case will be spent away from friends and family.
    This is what I do. I work in middle east and asia and rarely get home. I work hard but I do maybe 28 hours per week these days. About 4 hours a day, every day for months on end. But cleaning, cooking, bills, transport, etc are all taken care of. In other words somebody is being paid to do the logistical administration of my life. So I get to spend a lot of time reading, working out, doing my hobbies and so on.
    I do get a lot of holidays, probably about 10 weeks per year.


  • #2


    Time manage your tasks ie plan your day/evening/week.

    House work: little and often... Do core tasks regularly. Then make time say once a week for a blitz and just go for it!. De-clutter your home. When your home is untidy you cannot clean it easily or properly. The task becomes difficult and you end up with untidy and then dirty home... Look at your storage needs and then get effective storage for your stuff.

    Record your favourite TV programmes and fast forward through the ads.... Cut down on TV viewing.

    Work out your on-line hours and cut down/balance accordingly to get stuff done in real-life:)


  • #2


    "Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived." Dalai Lama

    My plan is to work hard for 6 or 7 months of the year, and then have 4 or 5 months for actually enjoying the fruita of labour. I'm not saying you can't enjoy life while you work, but it's a bit of a juggling act, and time is worth a lot of money imho, especially when you realise that each year you're getting older and won't live forever. Contract work allows you to have this flexibility, as you decide your own holidays.


  • #2


    Ironing? Iron as you need, then it's not a job anymore.. What really needs ironing anyway?

    Paint your house.. It'll feel cleaner for months and the clear out you do before painting will declutter the place.

    Buy a dyson.. Best vacuum cleaner ever so when you do do it it'll be done well.

    Better still move somewhere with central vac.. Does that exist in Ireland I wonder....?

    Anyone know if that roboty thing that hoovers works?

    Only allow flowers in the house when it's clean and tidy -that works with my OH, he has to clean before buying flowers.. Yippee clean house and flowers! Am I mean?

    When you find the secret let us know!


  • #2


    Ironning:
    If you don't thumble dry, if you give a good wip to the clothes before putting it to the clothes horse you will not need ironing for most of those items

    Cleaning:
    My mom taugh us well, When we were kids we used to watch cartoons saturday morning, my parents came from shopping and we knew... TV off, shopping stored in correct places and house cleaning ( not just our rooms but other parts in the house). So I'm on my late 20's and still clean every saturday morning, except the cartoons... biggrin.gif

    Everyday tasks:
    While cooking wash on the go... you'll get most of it done by the time you finish cooking, Don't wait long after diner to start your dishes.. If you have a very greasy owen dish, use washing powder and hot water to soften left overs.

    General Tidying up:
    avoid clutter, try minimalist art for storing items...


  • #2


    I tend to agree with the Meatloaf Proposition i.e. Two out of Three ain't bad. Three out of Three tends to be impossible - something has to give :)


  • #2


    This thread reminds of my situation when I was in college:

    college%2Btriangle.jpg

    :)


  • #2


    Anyone know if that roboty thing that hoovers works?

    I had one and was quite happy with it, in that i could set it up and do the ground floor while I was in work. We are very disorganised, though things are getting better. Now, I am not sure if I would get another. I'd rather get a dyson instead. The Roomba took quite a bit of time in maintenance. As another person said, get a good hoover so it does the job once. If I had the money I would have both(we have cats).

    In fact if I had the money, I would have 2 robots and have them follow along behind the 2 cats. Now that would be a big help.


  • #2


    Firstly, I can think of out-sourcing. Cleaning and ironing services? I'm reluctant to do this, which might be silly but I just have it built into me thats something really rich people do. But it's also not something I want to spend one day of my two days off every weekend doing.

    I get a cleaner lady in for 4 hours per week.

    She leaves the place spotless. Hoover, mop, dishes, clothes, bedsheets, tidy-up, toilet, shower, etc.

    She does more in those 4 hours than i could do in 10....

    For the sake of €50 per week, i have effectively doubled my free time every week. Best €50 spent.....EVAR!


  • #2


    one way to cut down on TV is to highlight all the stuff you want to watch and only watch that stuff.

    price outsourcing - and then work out how long it woud take to earn that much and compare it to how long it will take

    do the ironing/washing while watching TV


    If you avoid greasy food washing up is quicker or even use paper plates ( what is the carbon foot print of a dishwasher ? )

    listen to shows while you commute

    Dont watch 'live' TV just record anything you think is goid. Skip all ads. Sometimes skip the whole show because its so crap. Result: lots of time saved.


  • #2


    jcon1913 wrote: »
    Dont watch 'live' TV just record anything you think is goid. Skip all ads. Sometimes skip the whole show because its so crap. Result: lots of time saved.

    That is a big time saver.

    "Get rid of your TV you will have more time for housework!", sounds like a good plan for some, but not for me.


  • #2


    i read in usa you can get liquid which can be used as a substitute for normal foods, and its already prepared and is cheap too , what is this product called?


  • #2


    i read in usa you can get liquid which can be used as a substitute for normal foods, and its already prepared and is cheap too , what is this product called?
    Soylent is one I have seen a documentary about...


  • #2


    CruelCoin wrote: »
    I get a cleaner lady in for 4 hours per week.

    She leaves the place spotless. Hoover, mop, dishes, clothes, bedsheets, tidy-up, toilet, shower, etc.

    She does more in those 4 hours than i could do in 10....

    For the sake of €50 per week, i have effectively doubled my free time every week. Best €50 spent.....EVAR!

    I was gonna say I'm pretty sure to get an affordable cleaner on a somewhat decent wage it would have to be an independent one who's just doing it on the side!

    My mam done it for a while but didn't advertise and it was just through word of mouth!

    Ehh I'm currently working two jobs, 7 days a week for the past 5 weeks! I've still got 5 months left of it! It's because I have to do a Mon-Fri internship as part of my college course. I find it REALLY hard to do anything other than work! I've cut TV out of my life so that's freed up a lot of me time, but still not much in the wAy of being able to do things


  • #2


    Since the wee one arrived, time for things we took for granted has been squeezed.

    Sunday evening, time is set aside to cook batches of food for the bulk of the week. This is crucial.

    As for cleaning, bits and pieces as you go, with a turbo hoover and floor was when the opportunity presents itself over the weekend.

    I iron when babóg is having a nap on my watch.

    Considering a cleaner following suggestions from colleagues (who get paid as little :)) but the idea of paying for a cleaner has always jarred with me, probably because I've always associated it with rich people


  • #2


    Tesco Home delivery, or any supermarket home delivery gets a big +1 from me. You can browse the aisles from the comfort of your couch any time you want, set a delivery time for when you want it, and unpack the stuff when it arrives.

    If you manage to identify the ideal shopping list which covers all your bases, next week/month you can simply go "Order what I got last time", and shopping for that week becomes a task which takes minutes.


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