We recently interviewed our friend Peter Richardson about being a developer and new dad. We had to ask the question, how do you balance it all? Is it possible to balance parenting, coding, spouse, and everything else?
Achieving balance is surprisingly hard. The first tip, understand it will take time. It usually starts off trying to do everything at once. When talking to Peter, we asked how he does do it. When he first became a dad and was trying to juggle life with a newborn, while learning to code, building an app, working full-time, you better believe I was a mess! One of the first things you need to realize is you don't just wake up one day and balance your life. You LEARN to balance your life.
It takes time, takes practice, takes discipline, and, most importantly, it takes perseverance because you will slip and have to regain your balance, most likely numerous times. Another thing to note is that you can always have a better balance.
What are your top priorities? What are your goals, short term and long term? What is most important to you in a relationship. Yes, these sound like questions you would get from your therapist, but we must understand what we need to balance to improve balance. As a parent, spending time with family is essential. That will most likely be your top priority, so we recommend picking the next top two. That could be learning AWS, NodeJS, React, Python, etc.
Often the reason we feel unbalanced comes down to one thing. Not being able to do the things we want.
Whether you're not able to spend as much time with your family, pursue a passion, or meet a deadline. There's always something/s we're not able to do, which leaves us with this feeling of imbalance.
We all have them. Mine's biggest one is binge-watching YouTube videos or watching TikTok videos. I can easily waste hours of my life on social media. While there is a lot of valuable stuff on YouTube, you have to admit how much value are you obtaining? I end up watching more entertainment videos than educational ones. These bad habits are like sponges, draining our time, and giving nothing back. Recoup your time by re-evaluating and re-prioritize what's important.
Here is a scenario, you got a report to finish at work, a family outing on Sunday, a blog post to write, a programming course to work on, a side project waiting in the wings, a three-mile run, and you know what? It would be nice to have a moment to relax with my spouse.
So what do I do?
It's a natural human impulse to segment, compartmentalize, and label things. It's how we organize the world around us, and for the most part, it seems to work just fine. However, it can cause an issue. The minute we split and label ourselves, or indeed anything, we assign a value. When we do this to aspects of our life, we create positive or negative connotations with that aspect.
For example, everyone loves spending time with their friends, but rarely do people like working. This is because many of us associate work with something hard and tedious. The way around this is to refrain from dividing up and labeling parts of your life. Instead, try and take a holistic view of life.
To balance our somewhat full life, we need structure. Something to follow to ensure we are spending our time in the right way, and ultimately, getting stuff done. We need a routine.
Hope these tips help! Make sure to listen to our latest podcast episode to learn more.
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