Tue 08 Oct 2019
Achieving a work-life balance can take some effort but it will help you meet the demands of your personal and professional life. It will also allow you to spend more quality time with your family and give you the chance to pass your skills and values on to your kids.
7 work-life balance tips for working parents
1. Separate Your Personal and Professional Life
Avoid personal calls when you’re at the office unless you’re taking a break. This will help you maintain your professionalism and keep your focus on work-related tasks. Similarly, don’t bring your work home as this will eat into family time. Make contingency plans for when you get stuck at the office for a few extra hours. When you leave office, turn off push notifications on your email to minimize work distractions when you’re with your family. Also, you have a statutory right to request flexible work hours so consider this option if it will help you meet your work and family commitments.
2. Use your commute to switch modes
As a working parent, you need to be able to switch between work mode and family mode. A simple way to shift into work mode is to go over your workday and jot down all schedules tasks and meetings. If you have a long commute, you can also make use of this time to work on strategies to help you achieve your work-related goals. On your way home from work, you can review all the things you need to get done when you reach. You can also spend this time coming up with ideas for family picnics, outings or vacations as this will help you switch back into family mode once again.
3. Prepare the night before
From the moment you wake up, there’s plenty to do – feed the kids, get dressed, get them dressed (frantically rummage through their drawers for matching socks) and pack lunches for the family. The only way to avoid this morning chaos is to get organized the night before. Keep clothes sets ready for the next day (along with shoes and socks) and keep aside all breakfast and lunch ingredients. Have a daily routine so that your kids learn the benefits of being organised.
4. Meal prep on weekends
After a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is spend time chopping vegetables for dinner. Plan and prep meals over your weekend so that you don’t have to deal with this chore on a daily basis. The easiest way to meal prep is to create a meal plan for the entire week and then go grocery shopping with your list. When you get home, clean, wash and chop your veggies before placing them in the freezer. You can also invest in a slow cooker so that you don’t have to worry about cooking when you get home – instead you can spend that time catching up with your kids.
5. Aim for excellence not perfection
As a working parent, you constantly strive to achieve your work commitments while ensuring that you give as much of yourself as you can to your family. Even the slightest hint of anything less than perfection can trigger guilt at being unable to manage it all. Studies show that almost 90% of mothers feel guilty. Whether you’re at work or home, don’t strive for perfection, instead aim for excellence. This will allow you to improve without the unnecessary stress and pressure of achieving perfection.
6. Sleep more to earn more
Our fast-paced modern lifestyle is very demanding and when we are faced with a time crunch, the first thing we do is sacrifice our sleep. A recent study found that the average Briton gets less than 6 ½ hours of sleep a night which is less than the 7-9 hours we require. Inadequate sleep has been linked to decreased cognitive function, impaired attention and poor working memory. The effects of inadequate sleep will also affect your professional life as studies show that employees who have inadequate or disturbed sleep have poorer work performance, greater absenteeism and greater healthcare expenditures. Make sleep a priority so that you can work more efficiently and improve your quality of work.
7. Get Support
Juggling your work and family life can be stressful and make you snappy towards your colleagues and kids. Instead of trying to manage it all, get the support you need so that you can enjoy more time with your family as well as get some much needed ‘you’ time. Hire a reliable baby sitter to come over once a week so that you can take some time off to go out on a dinner date with your spouse or catch up with friends. This simple step will improve your mood so that you can enjoy stress-free time with your kids.
Most working parents say that their work-life balance is a source of stress and anxiety so this can help you lower your stress levels. Stress impacts digestion, blood pressure, blood sugar levels and almost every aspect of your health which is why it is important to eliminate unnecessary stress from your daily life. This is why a healthy work-life balance can help improve your health as well as your family life.
Authors Bio: Anita Fernandes has been writing extensively on health and wellness for over a decade. She has expertise in nutrition, fitness, public health, and weight loss and has contributed content to a variety of leading digital health publishers. Anita has a unique perspective on healthy living and lifestyle, as she has battled and overcome chronic stress. She shares her experiences in an effort to help others overcome the physical and mental health problems that can sometimes seem insurmountable.