Ten Ways to Balance Work and Family

Ten Ways to Balance Work and Family

stressedBalancing a work life and a home life can be difficult, but with a little knowledge and planning, you can make it work for you.  Here are ten tips that will help you balance your work life and home life.

1.  Set realistic goals.  It's pretty much a given fact that if you want to achieve something big, you have to make some sacrifices.  While the select few can manage, most people can't become a CEO and run a successful household.  When setting your goals, be realistic and don't stretch yourself too thin.

2.  Make schedules.  Keeping track of work and your family can be difficult to plan.  Try to keep a set schedule from day to day and week to week if you can.  Always remember to make a written schedule and give everyone a copy.

3.  Take time for yourself.  It's a natural instinct of mothers to sacrifice themselves for the good of their family.  However, it's important to remember that if you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of anyone else.  Try to schedule in at least a few minutes of "you time", whether it be going for a run, watching your favorite TV show, or just sitting in a room by yourself to relax for a few minutes.   

4.  Work from home.  If you can do your work over the Internet or phone, you may be able to swing working at least part of the time from home, giving you more time to spend with your family.  Just remember that there are a lot more things at home to distract you from getting your work done.

5.  Get some exercise.  Working out is not only a great way to stay healthy and gain energy, it's also a great way to spend time with your kids.  Instead of hitting the gym, go play ball in the park or take them for a walk.

6.  Take advantage of leave.  Most jobs allow you a certain amount of leave, but a lot of us end up not using it.  Make sure you know how much time you have and take it, whether you go on a vacation with your family or just use it to take a well-deserved rest day every so often.  

7.  Prioritize.  When making your to-do lists, figure out the things that are most important for you to do and get them done first.  If there isn't enough time to do everything, you won't feel as bad about what you have to cut.

8.  Take classes.  As many people will tell you, there's no manual on how to be a good parent and have a successful career.  But if you search around your community, you can find classes and seminars from people that have been where you are and managed to do well.  They can give you inspiration along with helpful tips and tidbits to get through your day.

9.  Watch for burn out.  Even if you schedule everything, take breaks, and do everything else above, what you're doing may just be too much for you.  Watch yourself for changes in mood or physical problems.  They could be a sign that you're burnt out and need to make some changes to your plans.  Remember, your health is important too.

10.  Learn to say no.  If you want to have a successful career and family life, you will have to learn to say no occasionally.  If you try to do everything, you're going to burn yourself out and not be able to take care of anyone.  Being a good employee and a good parent doesn't mean you need to do everything you're asked.

Avoid "Burn Out" by Balancing Work and Family

work-lifeMany people turn to a home business in an effort to be able to spend more time with their family while earning an income. While it is never easy to be a full-time working parent outside the home, it can be just as hard, if not harder, to be a full-time working parent from home.

When your family sees you at home, they may automatically feel that you are at their service. One child may need a ride somewhere, another child wants you to find something they are looking for, and your spouse wants you to run to the store and buy something for dinner. On top of all of that, you have clients expecting you to complete various projects for them, as well.

You may want to hold a family meeting and explain how important it is to your family that you have time set aside for your business. It doesn’t matter if you leave the house and work from an office, or if you work from the kitchen table, work is work. Your family wouldn’t come to an office outside the home and ask you to do all those miscellaneous tasks, working from home should be no different.

Of course, you will want to set aside time for your family, just as you would for your clients. Working from home will allow you to have a flexible schedule and that gives you the opportunity to attend school functions and other activities.

While it can be easy to procrastinate and not get your work done, it can be just as easy to over schedule yourself and spend too much time working. Your family needs to have some quality time with you; and you will need their support, too. Starting a new home business can be draining.  It will be a lot easier with the support of your family.

You can also ask your family to help you with the household chores. Set up a schedule where everyone pitches in with various tasks. Depending on the age of your children, they may be able to help with things such as emptying the garbage, vacuuming, doing laundry, preparing their own lunches for school, or even preparing dinner for the family. If you have a spouse, make sure that they are involved, too.

Another option is to ask a young teenager in the neighborhood to come over and “entertain” your children while you work for a few hours. A younger teen without a lot of prior babysitting experience will charge less than an older teen. Since you will be in the house, you can take over in case of an emergency. Your young sitter can play with the kids, read stories to them, etc – and you can have three or four hours of uninterrupted work time.

Balancing work and family will never be easy, but with practice – and patience; it can be done.