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15 Ways To Keep Work And Family Balance

15 Ways To Keep Work And Family Balance

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Amy Morin

A psychotherapist, psychology instructor, keynote speaker, and the author of the bestselling book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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