When Danny Nguyen from Myparentingjournal.com, a parenting blog dedicated to good practices, advice, tips, and resources for parents around the world, sent me this article about trying to find the proper work life balance, it really hit home.
As much as I am enjoying the business I'm bringing in, and the financially security it leads to, I've been really struggling with trying to juggle all my various responsibilities, between my work, my kids, my house, etc... while still maintaining my sanity. I hope you appreciate his piece as much as I did.
Presently, most parents spend very little time with their families due to hectic work and business schedules that leave them with little or no spare time at all to spend with family. However, this does not necessarily need to be the case irrespective of how busy your life is as there are effective tips and strategies you can use to achieve a work-family balance.
Family time is very important as it enables parents to bond with their children and assist them in tasks such as homework. In addition to this, this time presents parents with an opportunity to assess the progress of their children as well as monitor their behaviors. Here are some proven parenting tips that you can rely on when working towards achieving a work-family balance:
Have a master plan/schedule
With perfect knowledge and understanding of what your work requires of you and your family duties/responsibilities, it becomes quite easy to create a schedule that comfortably accommodates all your responsibilities. This schedule goes a long way in averting a likelihood of conflict of interest arising while you are trying to balance between your work commitments and family responsibilities.
A master schedule indicates your typical day including your working hours and daily responsibilities/duties that you require to perform at home. The best thing about this schedule is that it makes it easy to organize your day right from when you wake up to when you sleep, thereby preventing any time wastage. You can make alterations and changes in the schedule when need arises.
Always ensure that a well-thought plan for a whole week or a few days ahead. For instance, if you will be away from home for a few days on work commitments, it is necessary that you plan ahead so that you ensure that all your family responsibilities will be well taken care of while you are away.
When you plan ahead, you make it easy to know what needs to be attended to at a particular time rather than find yourself overwhelmed by overlapping commitments. If there is a special family event such as an upcoming birthday, you should purpose to avail yourself for the event at all costs. You should never give your family an idea that you prioritize work ahead of family. This can be quite damaging to the relations and bonds in the family.
Draw a boundary between family and work
Work and family should never be mixed at any time. There should be a clear distinction between the two particularly for people who work at home. Separating work from family requires discipline, commitment and dedication. Ideally, you should dedicate an uninterrupted time to each of these commitments. You should never mix work with family or vice-versa.
If you are a work-at-home person, it is important to ensure that your work does not interfere with your family time especially because you are your own boss and do not work with a fixed schedule like on a day job.
Be present at all times
Balancing between family and work does not necessarily require you to multi-task. Instead, the secret lies in being present for both commitments. If you are supposed to be working for a certain number of hours during the day, then you need to be there according to your schedule. Similarly, during your family time, you need to be present to spend this time with your loved ones. At no one time should you attend to your personal issues during family time.
Always stick to your schedule so that you are able to commit to each of the tasks in your schedule. You should set a routine for switching from family time to working hours. Additionally, let your family understand that work is an important aspect of your life and as such, they should allow you to attend to your work without any disturbance or interruptions whatsoever.
Use the Internet
With the internet making everything virtually possible in the present times, it is necessary to ensure that you use it to make your life easier. For instance, you can make your purchases from online shops instead of having to go for shopping in malls and other shops. This not only saves you the stressful hustle of shopping in busy shops but also allows you to make good use of your time.
You can also use the internet to research for ideas on the best items and brands to purchase based on the reviews left by previous shoppers. Additionally, you can also pay your bills online and save the time you would have spent when having to pay the bills physically in town. Generally, the main aim when looking to achieve a work-family balance is to economize on your time and ensure that you do not waste your time under any costs.
Maintain good communication
Communication is the backbone of any relationship, whether a work or family relationship. With communication, it becomes easy to let other people know your needs and your expectations of them. This is in turn makes it possible for your family, your work mates and even employers to understand your needs and expectations of them. Always avoid trying to force your way either at work or at home as this will most likely destroy the relations you enjoy with your family and colleagues.
Never aim at perfection when balancing your work and family as this will only put pressure on you and cause stress. Life is very short to mind about not making mistakes. After all, you are only human and can thus make a few mistakes or go wrong at times.
Aim for flexibility in life
It is advisable to enhance flexibility in your life when you want to achieve a work-family balance. Avoid living a rigid lifestyle as such a lifestyle will leave you with very little to attend to your personal commitments other than family and work. What’s more amazing about flexibility in life is that it makes your life fun and exciting as opposed to maintaining a fixed schedule throughout your life.
Typically, balancing family and work can be quite tedious and exhausting particularly for parents with young children. Due to this, it is necessary to ensure that you plan your life well and have your own alone-time to spend it on yourself to relax and rest after attending to your duties and responsibilities. This allows you to remain healthy despite leading an overly busy life with loads of commitments and responsibilities.
Do you have a hard time balancing work and family, like I do? Have you discovered any tips to help you not feel like you're struggling as much?