Work life balance can be hard. It can’t be done alone. You will always need help and be okay with accepting help in order the question of how do you balance work and home life?
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
This is why I have made it my passion with Work It Women to help women pursue this concept together. Maintaining a positive work life balance is easy if you are a solo gal right? You may go to work, come home and have not one to answer to, so it should be easy to switch off…unfortunately this is not always the case. Just as it is hard for working women with families, it can be hard for the solo women as well. Read: Focus on Life Balance: 7 Key Facts You Need To Know About Job Satisfaction
As a working woman, we strive to have that career-life balance. We want to be successful and have the opportunity to promote through the ranks or our profession until we find that sweet spot of working perfection. As a working mother, we want to spend enough time with our children so they know that they are a priority and build a solid foundation of recognizing that everything we have is valuable and working is sometimes the answer to getting what we want. As a working wife, we want to run a household that is functional yet balanced. We may love to cook dinner, but want help cleaning up the kitchen too.
Finding this type of balance is a constant challenge as the dial is always moving depending upon the time of year and the season. One of my biggest goals in life is to be have the freedom to be independent in my work yet balanced with my family and friends at home. I love my work, I love what I do and always have. I do have an amazing support system at home with my husband that equally respects my passions and partners with me to help build our strong family unit. My son sometimes asks (in three year old terms!) “why do you have to work”…we simply tell him that it makes us feel good and allow us to spend time together as a family…sounds like an oxymoron…but it’s true. The ability to earn has given us the freedom to be able to do things together on weekends…experiences such as going to the zoo, take a family vacations, going to Disney World etc.
Yet finding balance can still be hard. I have to meal plan to organize my week in terms of cooking, I have to write lists to organize my day, week, month in terms of things that we need to do and my husband and I have to plan our weeks in order to share equal responsibility for maintaining our home and creating special moments with our son. Read: Find Balance: 50 Ways to Date your Husband
If you are struggling still with finding your life balance, read these easy tips that I follow in order to find that better balance in my life. You can’t achieve success alone (remember quote above!), teamwork will get you closer and quicker than ever. If you don’t have a partner in life, use this list to find the most important tips that resonate with you and find ways to improve in those areas.
How Do You Balance Work and Home Life?
Know your own strengths and use them
Don’t try and be all things to all people. Focus on your strengths and outsource the others. If you’re not a whiz at accounts or graphic design, outsource them instead of wasting time. If you overspend at the grocery store, find a way to do better! ENLIST HELP!
Prioritize Time To Get Things Done
You may have a to-do list with 50 tasks on it, so you need to prioritize those tasks into four categories.They are:
- Urgent and important
- Important but not urgent
- Urgent but not important
- Neither urgent nor important.
Use these four categories to organize all the things that you NEED to do verses WANT to do. This works both at home and at work. Try using lists to help you do what you need: Feeling Overwhelmed? …make a list.
Know what time of day works for you
Are you a morning person? If you are, assign tough, high-concentration tasks to the mornings. Don’t leave the tough tasks until its night time and vice versa. You may find that you are more productive when you can recognize what works for you. Try reading The Benefits Of Waking up Early Each Day
always find time for personal time
When personal issues arise, it can be tempting to bury yourself in your work. Don’t do it. If you don’t make time for your personal life – your “me” time, including your family and your health – you won’t have a business to go back to if you can’t keep yourself together. Try 10 Mindful Self-Care Habits To Help You Find Life Balance.
Be powerful and set your work hours
Set work hours for yourself and do everything in your power to stick to them. Otherwise, before you know it, you’ll be working until midnight every night. Make a habit of NOT taking your laptop to bed- you need time to rest and recharge. Once you open that gate of immediate response times, you are setting an unhealthy boundry of what needs to be important time for you.
Financial competence is a must
Whether you work for yourself or not, it’s important to feel confident about your finances. In order to do this, you need to get some accounting software in place and use it from day one. Cash flow is one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses. You should start using accounting tools early on so you know what’s going on, financially, from day to day. In addition, make sure that both you and your partner on the same page when it comes to family finances. Nothing stresses a family more that the unknown. Try this budget planner to get started: Free Monthly Budget Planner
Organize your life and list it out.
Create a timeline of your activities. Specific computer programs can help with this, or you can customize your own Excel spreadsheet or Word table. Put dates across the top and activities down the side. Break each task into components. Include family commitments – such as holidays, birthday parties, etc. – so you don’t forget that you are unavailable for work on those days. Use lists to help you do this and share those lists with the people who need to know!
Beautify your workspace
Working can tend to require long hours and not much downtime, so invest in equipment that will support you. That includes getting a comfortable chair, an ergonomic keyboard, a support stand for your laptop, etc. An ergonomic assessment of your workspace is worth every cent. Includes some soothing colors and artwork. Make sure that you have enough organizational space to keep everything straight.
Use technology to your advantage
Instead of driving to a meeting, use Skype or conferencing technologies like GoToMeeting. But remember to switch them off when you are done. For your family life, use apps from google to help schedule, write lists, and be the most productive that you can be. Technology is so easy now from your phone that there really is no excuse.
Any exercise is good exercise
It’s easy to cancel the gym, the evening run or the yoga class because a client wants something done yesterday. Instead, ensure exercise is given as much priority as your clients and making money. A healthy body means a fresh mind, which means you will function better and complete tasks in less time. Yoga is good for relaxation or maybe you need to the pump of the iron to force out your frustrations. Make sure that you allow for time each week for some type of exercise to clear your mind and support a healthy body.
Love what you do and do what you love
You may love your job but also make time for something you love – other than work – and give it the time it deserves. It will energise and refresh you, and enable you to nurture the creative thought that is essential to every business owner. Maybe this is taking a class, taking a trip, trying a cooking class or seeing a movie. It is good to invest time in the things that you love to do—the benefits are huge!
Reflect and be realistic about your day
At the end of each working day, perform a little self-analysis. Ask yourself what worked today, what didn’t, what went wrong and how the issue can be fixed. Remember there are thousands of businesses just like yours learning the same lessons every day. Don’t forget to tap into the valuable resources around you – your peers – for help. This is also a great reminder to use with your family life. Reflect on your day or activity and think about if it was something you would do again or how you would make it better.
Be purposeful in your actions
Working can get lonely, so schedule some phone calls or coffee time with like-minded business owners to discuss ideas and offer each other support. This is a great idea if you feel that you may have been neglecting your friends…it happens, so make a purposeful plan to fix it… 5 Easy Ways to Incorporate Friendship Into Your Busy Week
Make a mental break
When fear or self-doubt or anxiety creeps in, do some work on your mental health such as meditation or reading a business book. Alternatively, spend time with someone who will lift you up and support you. There is so much negativity in the world, you actually have to strive to break through and be on the positive. So many people are sure to support you if you just reach out and ask!
Break times are a must
Remember to take time out throughout your day. Some tasks are easier than others, so if you find yourself with an hour up your sleeve, be realistic about whether you can “afford” to rest or not. You might not have time every day to simply sit and “be”, but do your best to give yourself a lunch break. Also, make a point of getting up and stretching every 15 minutes. It will help you become clearer, more focused and more productive. Try How to Beat Brain Fog At Work With Powerful Protein!
Have that vacation
Make time for a vacation and book in breaks, at least quarterly. Even a long weekend every quarter is better than nothing. Maybe you need a girls weekend, couple night away or a full on family vacation…find what works for you. Set the date and commit to it.
Now that you have a few ideas on how to answer the age old question of how do you balance work and home life, let me know what you think or if you have more to add!
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