Balancing work and family life is a constant challenge. Coping with the demands of each role and nurturing each family member can be difficult and anxiety provoking. When thinking about achieving work-life balance, it’s important to take some time to sit back, reflect and ask yourself some questions. For example, what are your goals in life? Do you know what’s important to you? What do you love to do and would like to do more of? The way each individual chooses to balance work and family life will differ from person to person; however, the importance of doing so is the same for everyone. When you feel that you are giving the right amount of time and energy to your work, individual and family life, then you have achieved a good balance. The following are some helpful tips to improving your work-life balance…
Good time management is one of our most valuable resources. Individuals need to learn how to manage their time so that they can complete tasks and leave work on time. Life balance means learning how to distribute your time and energy throughout several different areas in your life. The following suggestions can help improve the use of your time:
- Make a “to do” list and use a planner
- Rank the things that need to be done first- in other words, prioritize tasks and activities and make sure everything on your list is necessary.
- Break big items into smaller ones- this will make them seem less overwhelming and easier to tackle.
- Don’t expect everything to be done perfectly
- Delegate at work and at home. Take tasks that are easier, take less time or are less urgent and delegate them (i.e. to children, spouse or coworkers). Delegating makes you more efficient and helps you manage your stress better. You take some of the overwhelming burden off of yourself.
- Teach your children and other family members to manage their time better. If your family is organized, it will make it easier for you.
- Once home, do two things at once (i.e. fold laundry while watching TV).
Establish Priorities and Plan for Fun:
Balancing work and family life is about making a commitment to not only your career and your family, but to yourself as well. Ask yourself what it means for you to be successful…ask yourself “am I working to live, or am I living to work?” The answer can help guide you to determine what you need to do to establish the priorities in your life. Other tips on improving your priorities are:
- Communicate with your family and coworkers. Those individuals who have the biggest impact on your work-life balance must understand your needs. It’s important for you to communicate with them about what is and isn’t working and then brainstorm on solutions to be implemented.
- Think about what you want more of and plan to do it! Regularly schedule time to do something for yourself. If you don’t plan it, you most likely won’t do it. Remember taking time for yourself will make you more successful at work.
- Take the time to organize regular dates with your partner and with each of your children. One on one time keeps relationships connected, meaningful and healthy.
- Look at all of your commitments and ask yourself “are these all necessary and important?” Even if you can take one off your list, that will free you up for something that is more important to you.
Learning how to balance work and family life is a never-ending task. Life situations are always changing and what is important to you must be reviewed on a regular basis. Remember, you are a priority and making sure you achieve work-life balance will lead you to a happier and more stress-free life.