Twenty Practical Tips to Balancing Life And Work
Balancing life, marriage, kids, social life, & work… How do you manage it all? Don’t you wish there were more than 24 hours in a day? I know I do! I always joke I wish I could just wave around my Fairy Godmother wand and wish it. It can be a huge challenge maintaining balance of both work and life, one that can tear you down both emotionally and physically. In fact, studies show that having a work life imbalance can cause a multitude of health problems not to mention even marriage problems.
I work from home and no this is not any easier than working a brick & mortar job. Not only am I a full time wife & mommy, I am working on a multitude of things. Freelancing, Blogging, Social Media Marketing, consulting & my part time travel agency. Not to purposely add more things to my plate but I am about to squeeze in some college Graduate courses in there too. My days are never relax & chill. You will always find me working on something around the clock. It’s 7:00 PM tonight as I am writing this. It’s pretty hectic and busy and although I would like to say I am good at multi-tasking, most days I fail miserably. I have many friends who have children, work forty hour work weeks, their kids are in two or three different sports all year and I am amazed at how they even do it! …. Try to maintain all that plus day to day house work, cooking, kid’s extra curricular activities, school and homework, plus your marriage. If your are lucky to get in some social life too. It’s utterly exhausting.
So how do you balance life and work? Here are twenty practical tips for trying to balance it all.
Have daily prayer or meditate
Praying or meditating before your day begins is very refreshing & therapeutic. Clear your thoughts. Discipline your mind. This has been shown to help alleviate stress levels.
Have a calendar to write down important dates & events
The minute you are notified of a kid’s activity at school or an important event , write it down or type it into your Google calendar. On my phone I can set alerts to myself to remind me via email of important events and set it to alert days or even hours before the event. You wouldn’t believe how many times this was a life saver.
Create a daily To Do List
Believe it when I tell you this really does work. I use Colornote (an app on my mobile phone) but a notepad will work great too. I write out all my “to do list” items for the day. I cross them off as I go. I may not get to them all but atleast I won’t forget anything tomorrow because it is written down.
I am working on focusing more and steering clear of unnecessary distractions.
Prioritize your tasks and identify and work on those that are urgent first. Prioritizing makes a huge difference when completing your “To Do List”.
After a long day at work, unplug. Meaning put away all the electronics.
Clear your weekend for family time
Family time is so important to us & I am sure it is to you too! Weekends seem to be the only time we can plan things with our busy work weeks. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Go the park, go on a hike, have a picnic, have a game night. I had seen a friend recently incorporate hiking on the weekends with their family. They have all these places they want to visit written out and placed in a jar. Each weekend the kids pick one new place to visit from the jar.
Limit your children’s extra curricular activities to just one or two favorite things.
I know your little Johnny is all rounded in sports: baseball, basketball, football, & wrestling. Your little darling Sue loves to dance, play softball, cheer & play piano. Pick one or two that they are really good at and stick with them. Too many activities will eventually create burnout for both mom, dad, and child.
Don’t stress so much about a clean house all the time
Don’t mind a little mess. If it means spending five extra minutes with your son or daughter, then the dishes or laundry can wait!
If commuting to work is an is issue, consider moving closer
My husband and I are actually working on this right now! His commute can take almost 4 hours a day roundtrip. Can you imagine what you can accomplish in those extra hours if you lived closer to your work.
Take care of your health
This is super important! Mom and dad, if you are not taking care of your health, this will effect you both mentally and physically. A healthy body is healthy mind.
Learn to say no
You are only one person. I am a sucker when it comes to saying yes to everything and everyone. Know your limits. Don’t feel guilty if you have to cancel or tell someone no.
Stop cooking, cleaning and talking on the phone at the same time. It doesn’t work. I can’t tell you how many times I thought I could do this to find a burnt dinner or forgotten clothes in the wash the next day.
Don’t bring your work home
For goodness sake, leave your work at work. The last thing your family wants to hear is your daily stresses at work. Talking about it at home doesn’t help you nor them.
Take time for yourself
Shut the door (lock it) and throw away the key.. haha just kidding.. Seriously, you need to have “me” time! Do the things you enjoy. Take up a hobby. Read a book. Go for a walk. By Y-O-U-R-S-E-L-F. Don’t feel guilty for taking time for you. Even if it is just for thirty minutes a day.
Pencil in once a month to hang out with friends or have a date night with your spouse – It’s for your sanity!
This one is often challenging for us. Babysitting has always been an issue in the past but now that grandparents are retired I am hoping to see more date nights now with my sweetie. Host a girl or guys night out once every other month. Time away from everyday stresses of life, work, marriage, and kids is very refreshing! Keeps you sane!
Plan and layout your wardrobe for the week
Okay so maybe planning your wardrobe for the entire week may be a bit too much. But atleast have your attire placed out the night before. If you are anything like me (most women are), I will change two or three times before I am satisfied with what I am wearing. You can cut ten minutes out of your morning by planning out your wardrobe .
Unwind and have a glass of red wine every night – It’s good for your health!
Unwind from a long day at work. There is nothing wrong with slipping on your comfy pj’s & slippers, kicking back and relaxing. Pair that with a glass of wine.
Get plenty of sleep
Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on not only your health but your stress levels & moods. A good night’s sleep will bring renewed energy & focus. If you have a hard time sleeping, my favorite go to natural remedy is this.
Just simply go with the flow
What I mean by this accept the unexpected. Don’t get upset if things don’t go accordingly. You always have do-overs and there is always tomorrow.
This post is part of a blog hop where a group of bloggers are all sharing on similar topics (Working Mom, How to Balance). To find more inspiration, check out these awesome blogs:
Sara B Nash
Prayer and wine… Amen! But seriously, we try and clear the weekends too 🙂
Winona (Simple Southern Family) says
Thanks for stopping by Angela. Yes prayer & wine ! Today is National Drink Wine Day by the way 🙂
This is a great list! My daily commute is actually 4 hours round-trip, as well. I am able to work from home 1 day a week and am trying to find a way to work from home more often. It really takes a lot of time out of my day.
Winona (Simple Southern Family) says
Yes Faunya, 4 hours is a tough commute for anyone. If things go accordingly we are hoping to cut that commute in half this time next month. I hope your commute gets better & you get to work from home more !
Clare Speer says
Great post and great tips Winona… just say “no” is so important and prayer first thing in the day!!!!!! Your tips help us all stay organized1