Global Leadership Speaker and Premier Work-Life Balance Speaker
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Housework can be delegated. Life can’t. Part I, All About Balance

  I have no idea how you pull it off. How many e-mails, voice mails, phone calls or faxes did you deal with today? How many meetings and conference calls? Lunch appointments, calendar shuffles and  “emergency” interruptions?

I sure hope you made time to pick up the kids, do the wash, clean the kitchen and help with homework, because if you didn’t, you must be a terrible mother, a horrible housekeeper and a really lame wife.

Oh, I’m just kidding. I often am hired to help corporate women deal with those famous “work-life balance” issues, and I constantly tell them that they a) can’t do it all b) should stop trying and c) need to cut themselves slack. More than anything, they need to stop wallowing in guilt and start making changes that will free up time and brain cells.

It you are exhausted, frustrated, guilt-ridden and depleted by the demands pulling on you in your daily life, hang with me for the next week as I review some of the ways you can deal with work-life balance challenges. Hopefully, your life is balanced enough so you’ll have time to read it.


Who are you, anyhow? You aren’t a robot or Superwoman or June Cleaver. You might be able to do two things at once, maybe three. But, you can’t do ten, and the way this world operates, you feel inadequate if you can’t. If you are a star in your career, but you drop the ball for even one minute when it comes to perfect performance at home, you feel like a complete failure.

Years ago, I was working on the most exhaustive investigative reporting project I had ever undertaken. It lasted for ten months, and the last two months of the project just about killed me. I was meeting with sources from the state attorney general’s office in the basement of a McDonald’s restaurant. Staking out the mayor’s office. Dealing with what appeared to be our local Watergate. Numerous city officials were fired and criminally investigated.

Because of that work, I was nominated for the Pulitzer prize – twice. But, in the midst of it, several friends stopped by my house before we went out for the usual Friday night dinner out. Most of the house looked presentable. But, I have to admit, I’d shoved a lot of piles of paperwork and other “stuff” into the junk room because I hadn’t had time to deal with them.

watch godfather part iii the in divx I don’t know whether my now ex-husband thought he was being funny or if he was deliberately being passive aggressive, but he called everyone together in the hallway and said, “You’ve got to see this.” He opened the door to the junk room and exposed my mess.

In the midst of my greatest professional success, I’d been outed as a failed housekeeper, which somehow translated into a failed wife in my mind.

Granted, I have evolved a bit since that happened. I know I can’t do everything, and the first thing that is going to give is housework. I’ve got a relationship and family and work and life and I will take care of those priorities before I clear the pile off my desk.

Housework can be delegated, but life can’t. Remember that.

Balance? We don’t get that kind of equilibrium very often. One priority often trumps another. It has to. If you waste energy trying to be great at everything, you are good at nothing.

Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of four books and speaks to corporations and organizations about courageous and creative leadership strategies.

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