Over 60% of people feel there is a big imbalance between their work and personal lives. The demands of raising a family and finding success in your career often disrupt our work-life balance.
This can impact your wellbeing, causing loss of sleep and mental health issues. It can wreak havoc on productivity levels and limit time spent with family.
Yet, certain techniques can make you more efficient in balancing work time. Read on to learn how to find the right balance between being a parent, partner, and professional.
Set a Proper Schedule
Humans tend to work best on routines. Creating a balancing life schedule is one way to maintain all your weekly activities. It will also help you to practice better time management techniques.
Use a digital calendar to keep track of appointments, meetings, and family functions. It helps to color-code your calendar to include work, family, and personal categories.
Include any sports practice times, games, or weekly family commitments in your calendar. Work meetings and functions should also be added. Make a habit of scheduling time to help children with homework as well.
Don’t forget to block out time on your calendar for your own personal matters. This includes going to the gym, taking a fitness class, or getting a massage.
Keeping better track of your daily schedule will keep you from double-booking. Your schedule will also show which times you still have open each week. Use these open time slots to try and plan something with your family.
It helps to share the calendar with family members and work colleagues. This ensures everyone is well-informed of your schedule in advance.
Always keep your calendar updated and cross-referenced. This includes your computer, mobile, and at-home family calendar.
Gain Better Control Over Time Spent Working
Working too many hours is the main cause of a poor work-life balance. It helps to aim to work a standard 9 to 5 schedule most days of the week.
Set a time to try and leave the office each day. Create a balance between the days you work late by trying to leave early on a Friday.
Another tip is to adopt a motto of working smarter, not harder. Find out your most productive times during the day and use this to structure your workday.
For most people productivity levels are highest at 11 am. Use productive times to tackle more complicated projects. Slower times are best spent answering work emails or filling out reports.
Working with kids makes it hard to spend time together during the week. Speak to management about rearranging your schedule to better fit your lifestyle. More companies are allowing flexibility in work schedules to help enhance work-life balance.
One idea is to start your workday earlier so you can leave the office at a decent time. This allows you to get home in time to have dinner with your family or take your child to practice.
Another idea is to become a mentor for a junior colleague. Guide and teach this person by delegating certain tasks to them.
This frees up more time in your schedule and helps mold more knowledgeable employees. Do your best to ensure that the employee’s hard work pays off. Push to offer them a bonus, raise, or promotion when they go above and beyond.
Limit Screen Time on Weekends
Make it a habit to not check your phone and answer work emails during the weekends. Unless there is a work emergency, most messages can wait until Monday. Practicing this habit gives you more quality time spent with your family.
Be sure to communicate this change to all the necessary colleagues. This way they will respect your family time, but know they can reach you if there is an emergency.
This tip also includes limiting screen time at home. Instead, plan fun activities with your family.
Go hiking, biking, or kayaking to get outdoors in the fresh air. Plan to go for a nightly family walk around the neighborhood after dinner.
These activities are better for your mental and physical health. You’ll also be creating more memorable experiences with your family.
Take Breaks When Needed
Be sure you’re giving yourself enough time to relax and recharge each day. This will help you to avoid burnout which causes anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Certain work scheduling tips can even improve your productivity levels at your job. This means taking breaks throughout the day to replenish energy levels. It helps to grab a coffee or take a walk during your lunch break.
Another important tip is to plan a few vacations throughout the year. Only 28% of workers use their full amount of allowed vacation time each year.
People are afraid to use all of their vacation days for fear of seeming too replaceable. Yet, this can lead to increased stress and dissatisfaction at work.
Plan a summer vacation or take a weekend away with your family. When doing this, always put up an out of office message. This way you won’t be bombarded with emails during your time away.
Be sure to designate someone else to coordinate important tasks until you return. It’s okay to take a mental health day if you’re feeling overwhelmed as well. Placing your wellbeing first is key to a healthy work-life balance.
Learn How to Meal Prep
Meal prepping saves plenty of time and energy in our busy lifestyles. Use this tip to prepare your family’s meals for the week ahead.
Make a list of new recipes with healthy ingredients that the whole family will enjoy. Then you can spend Sunday cooking and pre-packing lunches and dinners.
Meal prepping is also a healthier and more cost-efficient option. It makes it less likely that you will splurge on takeout during busier nights of the week. Crockpot meals and single sheet pan recipes will also save on cleanup and cooking times.
It helps to check out meal delivery services as well. HelloFresh, Blue Apron, and Home Chef offer great options for this. Many meal services even work with special diet plans like keto or vegan.
Use Technology to Help You Save on Time
During a busy or overwhelming work week, let technology simplify your life. It helps to embrace innovative ways to save on time with online ordering. Many brands now feature online ordering systems on their website.
Larger grocery chains make it simple to shop online. Then you can get your groceries delivered right to your front doorstep.
Having an Amazon Prime account also saves you plenty of time. Buy diapers, formula, and last-minute school supplies. This saves you a trip to the store and you can’t beat those free and easy returns.
Booking an online home cleaning service may come in handy for balancing work time as well. Subscribing to a monthly flower delivery service also makes it easy to keep your home fresh.
Other tips include paying bills online using automatic withdrawal. Having a Chewy account makes it simple to renew your pet’s prescriptions. You can also schedule monthly food deliveries.
Use Your Commute Time Wisely
The average worker has a 26.9-minute commute to work. This means your daily commute will be around 1 hour. Yet, this can be much longer for those who live or work in busier cities.
Rather than dreading your commute, use it to your advantage. Listen to an educational podcast or catch up on the phone with a family member.
There are plenty of podcasts that feature great parenting advice. This includes Zen Parenting Radio, The Modern Dads Podcast, and Mom and Dad are Fighting.
If you take the train or bus to work use this time to catch up on work assignments. You can even enjoy some downtime by reading a book or the newspaper.
Another tip is to consider carpooling with a work colleague that lives nearby. This reduces time spent driving while also saving money on fuel.
If you have a longer than average commute, talk to your boss about working from home one or two days a week. This idea appeals to companies looking for ways to be more green and sustainable.
Create a Home Office Space
This tip involves creating a designated space where you can go to get work done. This should be a comfortable environment, away from the noise and distraction of the home. It can be a spare room, quiet nook, or a corner of your bedroom.
This provides a great place to work from home if needed. Having your own at-home office space will allow you to focus more and get your work done quicker. This also makes it easier to schedule conference calls.
Working from home offers a great way to better your work-life balance. You spend less time commuting and can enjoy your lunch break in the comfort of your own home.
Be sure to communicate with your children that the office is a quiet space. Help them to understand that you’re not to be disturbed when working in your home office.
Improve Your Sleeping Patterns
Getting the right amount of sleep is essential for your health and wellbeing. Being well-rested gives you enough energy to manage your personal and professional life.
Yet, sleep can be hard to come by when you have younger children. Night wakings and early mornings on the weekends take a toll.
Do your best to aim to clock in 8 hours of sleep a night. This may call for an earlier bedtime. It helps to have a calming nighttime routine, much like you do for your children.
Try taking a bath at night or reading right before bedtime. Limit using your phone or watching TV before bed. The blue light from screens can make it harder to fall asleep at night.
It helps to create a calming sleeping environment without bright lights or noises. You’ll also want to remove clutter from your bedroom for a less stressful space.
A weighted blanket may improve your nightly sleep as well. These help you to feel more comfortable and secure at night. They reduce tossing, turning, and anxiety that often plagues us before we fall asleep.
Have a Backup Plan in Place
Backups plans are key for any changes that may arise to your set routine. This helps make things easier when children get sick or problems occur at work.
Always have a second caregiver in mind should someone cancel on you last-minute. It also helps to have a friend or neighbor on-call to arrange a pick-up for your children. This comes in handy when you get stuck working late or have car trouble.
Set Goals and Give Rewards
This tip goes for all members of the family, including yourself. Do your best to set and stick to goals for creating a better work-life balance. This may be striving to leave the office early on Fridays or not working weekends.
Having goals will also help you to set your priorities. This allows you to strive to fulfill your parental role as best as possible.
When work goals are met be sure to reward yourself with some time off or taking the family out to dinner. When children’s goals are met in school or extracurricular activities, praise them. This keeps them motivated and enhances the family bond.
Becoming More Efficient at Balancing Work Time
Balancing work time with personal time is key to a happy and healthy lifestyle. Yet, in modern-day life, it can be difficult to find the right work-life balance.
These strategies will help you to achieve better time management at work. You will also find creative solutions to freeing up more personal time.
Looking for more advice on managing your family time better? Check out the parenting section of the blog for the latest tips.