Tips For Juggling Work And Family: Finding Balance

In light of October having been named National Work & Family Month, we wanted to offer tips we have found to help juggle the demands of running a business and enjoying time outside of the office with your family and friends.

Entrepreneurs know they need to work hard and be focused to be successful, but there is a difference between being busy and being productive. In order to have a work-life balance, it is crucial to be productive during the times you spend in your office. Remember, stepping away from your work or business means stepping away mentally as well as physically.

Here are steps we have found to bring balance to the daily routine of work and life:

  • It is crucial to have downtime. When you are setting up your To-Do list for the week, make certain you plan some “you time” and some “family time” as well as “work time tasks”. Creating specific categories for downtime helps see it as a priority. Incentivize yourself for your downtime, i.e., “Finish this project and take a 15-minute walk after lunch”, or “Finish this project and knock off 15 minutes early to spend more time with the family.” Being proactive in your scheduling, helps gain control over your work and your life. It also “forces” you to plan for downtime.
  • Do you have volunteer activities that sap your energy and you do not gain satisfaction? If so, drop them from your To-Do list. Take a step back from your daily routine and look for activities that do not add value to your work or your professional life. If these activities are not adding value, then cut back the time you devote to them.
  • Can you combine errands with family time? Are there errands that you could “outsource”? Some activities such as grocery shopping online or hiring a lawn care professional may cost more up front but if you determine the time saved, you may see the pay-off. Do you have friends or colleagues whom you can coordinate with to divide and conquer errands?
  • Some days it seems there is not time for the usual activities let alone add more but you need to take time to exercise. You will actually get more done if you boost your energy level with a burst of exercise. Incorporate exercise into your family time rather than spending the night watching television. Lace up your sneakers and take a walk.
  • Plan for relaxation. In our busy work and family lives, it is hard to find time to simply do nothing. Take time on a Saturday or Sunday morning for a relaxing breakfast out on the deck. Don’t have an outdoor area in which to linger over breakfast? Turn your living room into an “outdoors spot”, toss down a blanket, and eat breakfast picnic style. Build activities into your schedule that bring joy. Even spending 15 minutes to do something you love is the perfect timeframe to recharge your batteries and re-energize yourself. Take 15-minute relaxation breaks at work, do some stretches, listen to music you enjoy, or catch up on social media.

At the end of the day, take a proactive approach to the day and make certain you incorporate both work and family time into your To-Do list.

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