The divorce process has a lot of separate parts that need to be coordinated and managed. Your attorney, your ex, finances, work, kids, emotions and SO MUCH MORE! Being in charge of your divorce, working it like a part-time job, and scheduling your activities can help you take it into bite-sized pieces and reduce the overwhelm.
Schedule time to work and schedule time off. Just like any other job, you get time off and vacation time. You can not be on-the-job all of the time or you will burn yourself out. There is plenty of down-time during the divorce process to get it all done. Do it with a plan and in stages.
Since your divorce team works primarily 9-5, you need to plan your appoints and calls to them strategically.
- Schedule meetings at the beginning of your day, right before lunch, or at the end of the day if possible. It takes less time away from home or work to schedule meetings while already traveling or when a break already exists.
- Build in buffer times between your appointments and going back to the office or returning home. These meetings can be emotionally exhausting. Grab a coffee, go to lunch, go on a walk or meditate in your car before walking back into a situation where people (adults or kids) will have expectations of you.
- It can be in your best interest to keep your personal life personal. You don't need nosey co-workers to become involved in your divorce. There may be times you're upset. It's understandable and perfectly natural. Have a place where you can retreat for a little private time. Keep some make-up wipes, tissues and maybe a little mascara in your purse or desk to help "freshen up". Your distress doesn't need to be advertised.
- Plan calls during altered lunch times, on breaks, and between meetings. Those little snippets of time, those swiss-cheese-holes in your schedule throughout your day are opportune times to make those connections.
Doing the behind-the-scenes work will take time and likely be handled at home.
- Schedule the time at home to do research on your divorce or co-parenting issues, and gather your documents. Don't let it consume you. Decide ahead of time how much time you'll devote to the task and stick to it. It's important and needs your full attention, so do it when you are unencumbered.
- Limit the time you take away from your kids, family and friends to do this work. You still need to be available to your kids, and you still need to have personal time for yourself. Divorce is emotional and you NEED to allow yourself time to rest and relax.
Benjamin Franklin's quote "By failing to plan, you are preparing to fail" applies directly to the divorce process. Plan your steps, work with your attorney and divorce advocates, and take time off to enjoy your family and friends. You are in control. You make the decisions. You are the boss!