Work-life balance refers to the balance between your work commitments and your personal life. Many of us are confronted with the predicament of maintaining work-life balance and raising young children. If you’re finding it more challenging than ever to juggle the demands of your job and the rest of your life, you’re not alone.
Here are some of our suggestions to help you prioritize between work and life:
1. Build downtime into your schedule.
- Plan an activity with your family like going to a movie or the park – every Sunday afternoon. Often if there is nothing on the schedule, time tends to get frittered away and the weekend may end without spending quality time together as a family.
2. Drop activities that sap your time or energy.
- Many people waste their time on activities or people that add no value. An example would be spending too much time at work with a colleague who is constantly venting and gossiping. Ask yourself what you are getting from that person or activity. Is it an equitable exchange? If not, stop spending your time that way, and get home earlier to engage your children and other family members in the solution for a work-life balance.
3. Rethink your errands.
- Consider whether you can outsource any of your time-consuming household chores or errands. Could you order your groceries online and have them delivered; hire a kid down the street to mow your lawn; order your stamps online so you don’t have to go to the post office? Even if you’re on a tight budget, you may discover that the time you’ll save will make it worth it. You could barter or exchange services, for instance, gardening for babysitting. If you like to cook, you could prepare meals with the help of your children, and freeze a couple of meals and give them to a friend, in exchange for wrapping your holiday or birthday gifts.
4. Get moving.
- A great way to encourage your children to lead an active lifestyle is to lead one yourself. Incorporate exercise into your family’s everyday routine. Start going for a walk every night before or after dinner. Pick a family swim night at the local pool. Activities like dancing, biking, tennis, and playing Frisbee together are especially beneficial since they are activities your children can participate in later in life.
Don’t get overwhelmed by assuming you need to make big changes to bring more balance to your life. We recommend setting realistic goals, like trying to leave the office earlier one night per week. Slowly build more activities into your schedule that are important to you. Take 10 or 15 minutes to do something that will recharge your batteries, like taking a bath, reading a fun novel, going for a walk, or listening to music. Just remember each day to make a little time for the things and people that ignite your joy.