7 Ways to Better Juggle Work and Family
Ahh, the coveted work/life balance. It is that elusive feeling you are devoting enough time and energy to both your personal life and your job. But is it really possible? While keeping your personal issues separated from your work life is an important step toward being a true professional, there are times when the two are bound to intertwine. Read on for some tips to better handle the balancing act.
1. Reality check
Are you ready to hear the ultimate secret to achieving the perfect work/life balance? Here it is: There is no perfect work/life balance. As much as people strive for it, there are days when it is just not going to happen. It is realistically much more achievable to focus on the overall picture than to break each day down into a perfect equilibrium. Some days you will focus more on work, some days you will spend more time with family—and that’s OK!
2. Look at the clock
Now that you know that perfection is impossible, start looking at what is realistic by figuring out where your time is currently being spent. Spend a week or so writing down everything you do, both for your job and in your personal life. Once you have finished, you will have a comprehensive (and likely surprising) view of where your time and energy are going. Only then can you decide how you would like to change it.
3. Figure out what matters
Seriously consider what is most important to you at home and at work, as well as how much time you would ideally devote to each of those priorities. IndustryWeek suggests asking yourself some key questions: What do you need to start doing? Stop doing? Continue doing? Do more of? Do less of? Do differently? Just remember—the answer to each of those questions should push you closer to your goal of how much time you would ideally devote to your priorities.
4. Don’t forget yourself
While considering your priorities, do not forget to include yourself in the equation. That is, be sure to include some amount of time dedicated solely to your own well-being outside of your relationships, health, or work. While exercising can certainly be a part of it (walking is a particularly good way to encourage both physical and mental health), anything that helps you unwind should make the cut.
5. Stay healthy
Speaking of health, Business News Daily points out that physical, mental, and emotional fitness are all part of the delicate juggling act between work and family. Whether it is classes at the gym, sessions with a therapist, or even just taking sick days when you need it, be sure to schedule in those things that help you live at peak performance.
6. Shut it all off
Technology can be a great thing, but when it comes to balancing work and home, it can be more of a curse. So, carve out some time to completely unplug, whether that is every weekend, every evening, or both. Set a time each night, after which you are unreachable via phone or email. Not only will that help you focus on what’s right in front of you, but it will help recharge you for the next day’s work.
7. Make it a conscious decision
Everyone wants to spend time with those they love—after all, you can always be replaced at a job but never as a father/mother/son/daughter/friend/etc. Think back to before you got your current job: What did you enjoy doing? Who did you enjoy seeing? Then make a conscious and deliberate decision to spend time with those people and doing those activities that bring you joy. Without dedicating specific windows of time to who and what we love, it is far too easy to let them get pushed to the wayside.
Ultimately, spending uninterrupted time with those you love—even if your job involves doing things you love—can improve every aspect of your life (even work!). And while perfection is impossible, with a few tweaks here and there, you will find a balance that works for you.