How does one handle work, home and family (or a combination thereof) without having a nervous breakdown?
This is the question currently being posed at Blog Fodder by Melonie, over at The Joy of Being Melonie.
Well, I do work full-time, currently in the field of scoping and developing a new Strategy for the organisation I work for. I also have a home and there is always something that needs doing - cleaning, laundry, cooking, shopping, more cleaning and tidying... but I don't have children. I do have a cat but other than being at his constant beck and call (or so he'd like to think), he just requires grooming, feeding and a clean litter tray.
However on top of work, I am also a part-time student with the Open University doing my Masters in Business Administration. I have been studying for 3 years now and some days I wonder if it is worth the trouble, especially when I come home from work and feel tired only to see the books on my desk at home. On a bad day it can make my heart sink. The weekends can be difficult too, especially when I have a deadline for a report or essay. If it's a nice day then I am stuck inside feeling like a petulant teenager being asked to do my homework! Sometimes I find myself procrastinating. All of a sudden the big pile of laundry seems preferable to studying, and then I'll just put those papers away and feed the birds... you know how it is!
However, I know that the studying will be worth it. Already I have been able to apply things I have learnt to my work and have been awarded several bonuses. It has helped my to develop a wider view of business so that I can see beyond the immediate issue and can appreciate the persepctive of other functions. It has developed my appreciation of creative thought in problem solving, about the different ways people learn and work together and the implications for leadership. It has bought home to me the contradictions inherent in running a business and managing people.
I have already gained a Post Graduate Certificate in Management (with distinction!) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business along the way. I have enjoyed meeting other people from other organisations at the tutorials - some I have struck up an instant comradship with, one or two were just irritating. However, most of all, studying has taught me the value of my time. I appreciate the free time I have to do what I want to do more than ever. After all, all work and no play makes Bob-kat a dull person so I practice the "5 P's": Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance". Or at least I try to!