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Last Updated on August 15, 2022

A Guide to Balancing Work and Family Life For A Fulfilling Life

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A Guide to Balancing Work and Family Life For A Fulfilling Life

Balancing work and family life is one of the most common sources of stress for working adults. In this productivity-driven society that we are living in, more and more people are finding it hard to adequately fulfill their roles both at home and at the workplace.

More often than not, people cannot find a point of balance between their careers and their families, and one is given more priority than the other. This behavior has been associated with several dysfunctional outcomes—strained familial relationships, inefficiency at work, and poor physical and mental health.

Hence, individuals need to learn and work on balancing work and family life. [1] The idea may seem daunting, but it is possible if you take the time and care to make it a priority.

10 Needed Steps to Balancing Work and Family

1. Get Rid of Stress

Clarity and peace of mind are essential in balancing. Our minds get clogged with stress hormones with the constant hustle and bustle of the day. Coming home and indulging yourself in activities to lower stress will help you clear your mind and relax your body.

When you are relaxed and happy, you will be refreshed to work and willing to give time to your loved ones at home.

2. Make Balance a Priority

Achieving work life balance, whether you work full-time or part-time, is a long and often difficult process. If you do not make the conscious decision to achieve balance, you will likely fail along the way. I have learned through my experience that it is very important to provide yourself with the opportunity for balance.

For instance, you need to find a job that is challenging but not overwhelming; also, carefully think about how big of a family you can responsibly raise at the moment. By making wise decisions on the most important matters in your life, attaining balance won’t be a difficult thing.

If you are already settled into a career and have a growing family, you can still make small changes to help you achieve balance. This could include requesting more flexible work hours, reorganizing the responsibilities you share at home, or bringing in trusted friends and family to help pick up the slack.

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3. Strengthen Your Bond with Family

Building strong communication with your family members is imperative in bringing a work-life balance. Having strong familial bonds promotes trust, understanding, and support.

Sharing your work life with your family and letting them know your work struggles can help them understand your perspective. If they know your work problems, they will be less demanding and more supportive of you.

When they feel heard, they will react better when you have to stay late at work one evening or leave the dinner table early to finish a big project. Make sure the communication flows constantly.

4. Add Flexibility To Your Workspace

You can talk to your employer and add flexibility to your workspace. Work from home has become common, thanks to the recent pandemic outbreak.

Having workplace flexibility can make your life a lot easier. You can work from home or any other remote location without compromising your family time.

For example, if you have a family commitment but cannot take off from work, you can finish your work from home and spend the rest of the time with your family.

Studies have also shown that having a comfortable workspace improves your productivity and increases job satisfaction levels. [2]

5. Allow Others to Help You

There are times when balance is more difficult to achieve. Maybe you’re vying for a promotion at work, or you have a huge project for a client due before the weekend. Once you’ve communicated those problems to your family, it may be time to get some help.

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Most people have friends or family that are willing to help out. Make sure these are people you trust to handle tasks like bringing your children to sports practices or picking them up from school. In most instances, they’ll be happy to pick up the slack for a week or two.

If you’re unsure how to start asking for help, check out this article.

6. Develop A Routine

Balancing family and work life is all about consistency. Having a routine does not mean streamlining your daily chores and tasks. You must build a routine for yourself where you can unwind at the end of the day and de-stress your body.

Developing a routine for yourself will help you stay more consistent and focused on your work, and you will also be able to spare time for your family. This will also help you that works for you and your family.

If you’re an early bird, try to get some house or work tasks done in the morning before the kids wake up. This allows for quality breakfast time with the kids before they head off to school. If your kids have after-school sports and activities, consider packing dinner and having a picnic after their games.

Part of balancing family life means creating memories with your loved ones, no matter where you are or what you’re doing.

7. Prioritize Your Health

Health comes above all. It is impossible to bring a work-life balance if you are in good shape. Without having a healthy mind and body, you will not be able to focus on either.

Therefore, it is important to prioritize yourself and add activities to your routine to help you stay healthy and fit. It includes following a healthy diet, exercising daily, and getting adequate sleep.

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If you are sleepy throughout the day, you are prone to make mistakes at your workplace and get annoyed by your family members.

8. Take a Break From Technology

Though it is not easy distancing yourself from the internet and social media since they are prime modes of communication and information, try taking a break from technology.

A technology break means setting specific intervals during the day where you distance yourself from your phone and instead; dedicate that time to yourself and your family.

Studies have also shown that taking a break from technology helps your awareness, human connections, sleep patterns, and emotions. [3]

Family game nights are perfect for bonding. Set a rule to turn off all phones so everyone can focus fully on the game and spending time with one another.

9. Establish Boundaries Between Work and Family

It is important that we create boundaries between work and family. This means determining which actions are acceptable and unacceptable. Boundaries hold the line to protect your work from the distraction of family, as well as to protect your family from the obligations at work.

With clear boundaries, it is easier for you to tell when your action is not in favor of one aspect of your life. For example, you can rule with your family that no one is allowed to use a cell phone at the table. Setting up this boundary will allow no external disruptions during your dinner, and you can enjoy that time conversing with your family. [4]

Another example of setting work-life boundaries is that you can turn notifications of your work-mail off and focus solely on relaxing. These tasks are easy said than done. However, balancing work and family life is impossible without setting priorities at a given moment.

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If you need help in finding inspiration to achieve the work-life balance that you’re aiming for, you can watch this TED talk.

10. Accept That Imbalance Is Sometimes Unavoidable

It’s okay to struggle and fail in your struggle to balance work-family life. Sometimes, it may feel impossible to stick by your boundaries and not prioritize one aspect of your life over the other. Family emergencies demand compromising work life and vice versa.

For example, you may need to skip a work event when a family member is sick. Or when an important deadline must be met, you might need to miss dinner at home and stay working late at the office.

However, the important thing is that you don’t allow imbalance to become the norm. The scale may tip for a few days or weeks, but the key is to bring it as close to the center as possible.

You will struggle in the process of balancing work and family life and will fail a lot. But, instead of stressing yourself with failures, you must keep trying and progressing.

A Guide to Balancing Work and Family Life For A Fulfilling Life

Simple Tips to Help Balance Work and Family Life

Staying consistent and focusing on your goal is the only way to achieve the desired balance.
4 Actions
A Guide to Balancing Work and Family Life For A Fulfilling Life
Ground Your Body: De-stressing your body after long work hours is essential. You can do that by having some private time, enjoying a cozy dinner with family, and exercising.
A Guide to Balancing Work and Family Life For A Fulfilling Life
Always Share: Always be sure to share your work-related stress with your family and loved ones. Having insights into your work life will make them more understanding of your busy schedules
A Guide to Balancing Work and Family Life For A Fulfilling Life
Take Help: Relying on your loved ones for small favors is not bad. Share your chores with your family, and try not to overburden yourself. 
A Guide to Balancing Work and Family Life For A Fulfilling Life
Stay Healthy: Balancing your work and family life is impossible without being 100% healthy. Keep a healthy diet and exercise daily to stay mentally and physically fit.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to balance work and family life isn’t easy. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every person and family must find specific solutions to their issues depending on their own preferences and needs.

Essentially, a balance between work and family occurs when a person is able to sufficiently meet family commitments and adequately perform responsibilities at work. There is nothing wrong with working hard to get ahead, but don’t forget the worth of the things and people that really matter most.

Featured photo credit: Andre Jackson via unsplash.com

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Reference

More by this author

Kara Heissman

Kara is passionate about sharing her self-improvement insights to help more people.

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