We’re all looking for solutions and ‘hacks’ these days aren’t we – particularly when it comes to combining work and family life. Most of the time we know what we need to do, we should don’t take the time to do it and our work life balance really suffers.
Why is work life balance important? As parents we are spending less and less time with our family due to the pressures of the current economic climate – as little as an hour a day with our children sometimes.
Here are 5 simple reminders to prompt you into finally sitting down, putting some structure in place and hopefully reducing your stress.
Whether you decide to work for yourself and build your own business or you work from home, using your time wisely means using organisational tricks to streamline each element of your life. You simply cannot afford the wasted time and effort of looking for lost things, forgetting appointments and hunting down details.
You need to find organisational systems that work for you, be it a tabbed notebook or a series of apps. Have a place for everything and don’t tolerate clutter. Little and often is the key to keep things manageable.
One of the main pillars to managing work and home life is having a back-up team who can support you when things get sticky, and also having access to the right information. Whether it’s your partner, family members or a trusted friend, someone you can call on in an emergency is essential.
You also need trusted sources of information – if your child has symptoms that need diagnosing when they’re ill, patient.info is good for looking up information quickly. Knowing that you can rely on certain things makes life easier.
Planning ahead is an important part of trying to balance work and home life. This can be really hard when you’re exhausted after a day’s work- but taking a few minutes to get things in order for the next day will save a lot of trouble – lay clothes out, pack lunches, get the washing up done so the kitchen isn’t chaos in the morning, clear your desk and file any papers.
Preparation pays off – find some delicious slow cooker recipes at www.thekitchn.com and have good food waiting as well! I recently discovered the joys of a slow cooker and can honestly say I wouldn’t be without one now.
It’s important to ringfence time when work isn’t allowed to intrude, to spend with your family. It may mean that you have to work a little more on other days, but try to keep at least one a day a week to spend quality time with your family, minus any interruptions.
It’s important to draw boundaries – find a great guide to time management here. With a little juggling you should be able to ensure you still have time for family commitments.
If you have the option to work from home, or you are an entrepreneur, aside from all the hard work, a benefit is meant to be flexibility, but many of us still try to slot around the office 9-to-5 routine.
Splitting your time differently, though, can pay off – could you fit in a hour before your family wakes up, and then be present for the morning rush before sitting down again mid-morning?
Can you time important work around younger children having a nap?
Some tasks that involve contact, such as meetings, telephone calls etc will undoubtedly have to be handled within traditional office hours, but other tasks such as report writing, accounting, filing, and emails can be timed to suit your personal schedule, or carried out in the evening when children are in bed. Businessnewsdaily.com has some great tips.
There are loads of ways to make improve your work life balance but you have to make it a priority. If you do you’ll find you reap the benefits in both your work and your home life.
What tips would you add?
Midlife mum from Cardiff. Wine Imbiber. Likes glitter, fluff and olives. Approaching tweendom with Caitlin (11) and Ieuan (10). The husband is hiding in the loft.
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