The Perfect Balance of Work/Home/Life
Tue, 03/25/2014 - 5:45am | by Helen Hoart
One out of every five Americans work at home, while more than half wish they could perform at least part of their work week there, according to Telework Research Network. This can blur the lines between work and family. Use a day planner if you have to, but divide time as equally as possible between work, family and personal recreation. Establish boundaries to help you successfully manage all three and give you time to relax and enjoy the benefits of your labor.
Schedule Family Time
In the workplace, everything is scheduled and follows a plan. To make sure your family isn't short changed, schedule them in. Create a calendar where all work activities are written in red. Use green for family activities and blue for recreational activities. By doing this, you aren't compelled to fill your calendar with work-related obligations and you can actually see a specific time when your day ends and family time begins. It will increase your motivation and give you something to look forward to.
Find Creative Ways to Spend Leisure Time
Not all time off needs to be spent with the family. Make time for yourself to relax and just enjoy not accomplishing anything. Get a massage or go see a movie. Do something for you. Take a class at the local college or take dance lessons. Look at your interests and explore your options.
Set Boundaries for Work
Keep work and family life separate. Don't work overtime unless absolutely necessary. Women who are self-employed will often work well past normal business hours. Schedule yourself out of the office and leave for the day. You may have to force yourself to do it, but setting those boundaries will help you keep everything in balance.
Set an Alarm
If you have trouble remembering when to stop working, set an alarm for lunch, breaks and the end of the day. It's a firm reminder to stop what you're doing and put it aside. Take a breath and relax. If you have to finish a project, hit the snooze button until you finish. It's an easy way to remind yourself you have other things you could be doing. You can also do the same for family time. If you have a deadline, set the alarm to remind you there is work to be done. This can reduce much of the job related stress you have to deal with on a regular basis.
Stay Focused and Organized
The key to maintaining stability and balance is to stay focused on the task at hand. Make sure to have everything you need for the job you are working on. When you leave the office, shut the door on your work and transfer your focus to the next thing on your list. If it's family related, enjoy your time and allow your body to de-stress from work. If you have something planned to pamper yourself, let go of distractions and enjoy the moment.