3 tips for a better work-life balance
As a parent or partner running a business or holding down a full-time job, it’s sometimes easy to overwork yourself, and often to the detriment of your personal life.
There are lots of reasons why this happens; financial pressure, poor time management and a lack of focus can all cause you to lose out on time with those who matter most.
But once you recognise that this is happening and take the time to understand the reasons as to why your work and personal life are out of sync, you can anticipate it and put preventative measures in place:
1. Don’t lose sight of what matters
This is particularly important for parents. It’s an easy trap to fall into where you head off to work early in the morning, stay late at night and as a result, have no time to spend with your child.
For new parents, the pressure to return to work as soon as possible, along with the financial implications of this, can cause your time to be unevenly split between work and family.
If it feels as though you are losing parity between work and family life, take a step back and ask yourself: “Am I doing the right thing?” The good news is that there are plenty of options to combat this.
Explore any potential flexible working hours with your employer, return to work on a staggered basis or simply plan additional hours to catch up in the evenings after the children have gone to bed.
If you’re self-employed, create your own working schedule around your family and stick to it. All too often people stay late at work to cram tasks in when productivity is down and the end result is rushed. The key is to take your time with work and to spend more time at home.
2. Plan your time properly
Scheduling is key to spending quality time with your family. While no one wants to have to ‘plan’ time or schedule a calendar reminder to spend time with loved ones, it’s a necessity to living a balanced life.
If you don’t plan in family time, you’ll end up squeezing them in where you can, meaning a lack of quality time, disorganisation and never really ‘switching off’ from work.
If you have properly allotted time for family, you can plan things to do, stop work from encroaching on your personal time and enjoy the break from your professional life.
3. Stay focused and don’t procrastinate
With multiple different things going on at the same time, it can be hard to stay focused on one task, especially with the distractions of family life outside of the office.
Similarly, you can’t allow yourself to be distracted from your family – focus on what you’re doing and do it well.
When you’re planning to do anything with your family, don’t put it off ‘to just finish something’ for work. Similarly, when you’re at work, don’t procrastinate. The quicker you finish things, the more time you have spare to either start a new task or spend time with your family.