Managing a work and family balance can be complicated at times. However, it’s possible to devote enough attention to both your professional life and your family life if you follow these steps.
1. Address Concerns From Your Family
Be willing to listen to concerns from your family about your work life. When you work long hours, your spouse, children, and perhaps even extended family will express concerns about you. Spend time listening to what they have to say and agree that you’ll take their feelings into consideration.
2. Allow Family to Help You
Allow family to help out whenever possible. Look for ways in which they can lighten your load. Whether you allow your mother to pick up your dry cleaning or your spouse to organize your folders, including them in the process can help free up some of your time.
3. Stick to a Work Schedule
Try to establish a firm work schedule. Today’s world allows many people to work from home which can blur the lines between work and family. Establish a clear work schedule and start and stop work on time whether you’re at the office or you’re working from home.
4. Establish Work Goals that Align with Family Goals
Create goals for your job that align with your family goals. For example, working to save money for a family vacation will make the time you spend away from family seem worthwhile. Create goals that take the entire family into consideration and remind your family how the end result will benefit everyone.
5. Explain Your Work to Your Family
Sometimes family members feel left out when they don’t explain the nature of your work. Explain what you do and why it requires a lot of your time and energy.
6. Limit Electronics Use at Home
Be both mentally and physically present with your family when you’re at home. Avoid checking work-related emails and answering work-related phone calls when you’re with your family. Limit your use of electronics so you can spend quality time with your family.
7. Set Aside Regular Family Time
Set aside time to spend with your family on a regular basis. On a daily basis, try to spend a few minutes each day talking with your spouse or reading with the children. Then, plan for longer periods of family time on the weekends or other days off.
8. Reward Yourself for Reaching Goals
Reward yourself when you reach your work-related goals. For example, if you’re working long hours to finish a particular project, when it’s all done, take the family out for dinner to celebrate. Rewards can help remind you to celebrate your accomplishments.
9. Plan Your Schedule with Family
Look at the calendar at the beginning of each week and plan your schedule. Decide which family functions and children’s activities are going to be most important for you to attend. This will help you plan ahead and determine which days you have more time to devote to work.
10. Practice Separating Work and Home Life
Develop rituals and practices that help you separate work and home. For example, use your commute to unwind from a day at the office so once you’re home you can focus on your family and leave work behind.
11. Address Productivity Issues that May Slow You Down
Take a look at your work productivity and determine strategies that can help you be more productive. This will help you get the most done in the least amount of time, which can free you up to spend more time with your loved ones.
12. Take Time for Yourself
Although you may not feel like you can take time for yourself, it’s important to to do so. Taking time for yourself can help ensure you will be at your best, both physically and mentally, when you’re at work or spending time with family.
13. Re-Evaluate Your Schedule and Priorities Often
Examine how you are doing in terms of balancing your work and family life often. Make adjustments when you’re not happy with the way things have been happening.
14. Hold Regular Family Meetings
Meet with your family regularly to discuss your work and family balance. Discuss any changes you may need to make and keep one another informed about what’s going on.
15. Keep a Time Diary
Keep a time diary that outlines how and where you spend your time for a week. This can help you see where your time goes. Sometimes people are surprised to see how much time they really devote to certain activities, such as watching TV.
Today’s employers seem to want more of our time than ever. 10 Keys to Work/Life Balance
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