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15 Ways To Keep Work And Family Balance

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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.

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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.

More by this author

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 November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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