Whether you’re an entrepreneur, 9-5 office worker, or ambitious project manager – balancing work and family life will always be difficult at certain stages of your career. Do you ever feel like the more time you put into your personal life, the more your work seems to suffer? Or vice versa – you’re doing everything you can to earn that promotion but find you and your partner are like ships in the night? Don’t feel alone, so many people have this problem and it’s a simple change in perspective and approach that will stop it becoming an issue.
If you’re feeling any of the following:
- You’re exhausted and feel you have too much work on to complete any of your tasks properly
- You feel you’re missing out on family life
- You feel you’re resentful of how much you have to do at work or at home
- You feel you’re just too tired to enjoy your personal life
- You feel you’re not a particularly good employee or Mum/ Dad/ Friend because you’re so busy all the time
Then it is time to take action and listen to these tips:
Mindfulness is all about living in the moment. By focusing on what is in front of you or around you at any given time, you not only get the chance to make the most of it, but appreciate it more. So give yourself clear transitional periods between work and family time. After getting the kids ready for school, use your commute to work to get into work mode – listen to a podcast, read some inspirational quotes or write a list of tasks for the day. When coming home from work, or when leaving the office to meet friends, use that time to write down anything you are stressed about for tomorrow then let it go until tomorrow. Leave work behind and give your whole self to the people or tasks you are doing at the time.
Allow Yourself Downtime
You may have spent so much time thinking about making time for work and time for family and friends you have forgotten about you time. This is time when you get to be completely self indulgent and enjoy doing something completely for yourself. Perhaps it’s a walk in the park, an hour spent playing guitar, a long soak in the bath or a couple of hours in the gym – schedule in your own downtime to give your brain a break.
This relates to all areas of your life. Could you spend one evening a week with your friends when you’re relaxed and less stressed and able to give them more of your energy, rather than spending three nights a week seeing them when you’re tired and aware you have other things that need doing? Are you spending a lot of your time at work doing jobs that either don’t need to be done by you, or that could be better prioritised? Try to prioritise everything you do to make your time more efficient. Maybe you could be more focused at work and avoid social media and email in order to leave an hour earlier? Or perhaps you could delegate some of your jobs to members of your team? Or is it making you so miserable at work leaving your young child in childcare, it might be beneficial for you and him/ her for you to take flexi hours or even work less if it is financially viable?
How Could You Save or Even Create Time?
There are probably lots of ways you can save time if you looked at a lot of things that take time in a different way. Is it possible for you to outsource any of your errands? Could you prepare your work lunches on a Sunday evening before the week ahead? Is it possible for you to get up earlier in the morning so you can see your kids before you go to work?
Try to remember that although it might cost more for you to get your shopping delivered, lunch delivered or any other extra cost – what you’re saving in time is well worth it.
Move More To Do More
It may seem counterproductive to add something to your already busy schedule. However, with exercise it is completely worth it. Doing exercise does wonders for your energy levels and moods. It boosts oxygen to the brain, makes you happy, gives you more energy levels and regulates your sleep.
Learn To Say No
It is really important that you learn to say no when you’ve got too much on. Saying yes and straining yourself will not do any good to your work or personal life – people will appreciate your honesty and also appreciate you completing tasks or spending time with them when you’re 100%. If someone offers you extra work or responsibilities at work, say no. If someone asks you out for drinks on a weeknight when you’re exhausted and know you’ll pay for it with a headache and fatigue the next day – say no. Learn to say no and offer alternatives. For example: I won’t be able to complete that project right now, but I am happy to recommend XXX to do it, or get involved in X amount of time when I have completed Y. Or: I’m not free to come out tonight, but I am free on Friday after work if you’re free?
Remember, there’s only one of you to go around and 24 hours in a day – at times you will feel rushed, stressed or like you need to be a time traveller to keep everything balanced. Just be aware that when things do get really tough and you’re starting to burnout – you have to put yourself first and make some changes because you and the people around you will not benefit from you being tired, emotional and exhausted.