In the current pandemic age, family life for both mothers and fathers can be akin to juggling spinning plates whilst running over a bed of red-hot coals! Rightly put, working and bringing up children simultaneously isn’t a cake walk. While you definitely cannot “have it all,” you certainly can strike a delicate balance to live a happy and fulfilling life. However, when it comes to day-to-day life, what works for one family won’t necessarily work for another.
On a working day you need to fill your schedule, as you face the challenge of managing multiple commitments. As responsibilities keep piling up at home and at work and things start to get overwhelming or out of control, quickly jot down these actionable strategies to help your family cope.
1. Set clear goals and priorities so that you can stick to them. Identify the time slot when you are the most productive at work. Block this time for key work-related activities. Also, structure your day in a to-do-list every morning.
2. Negotiate flexible hours or a compressed work week. Talk to your HR and check out an option for a flexible schedule and location. Given the current pandemic situation lurking about, this should not be an issue.
3. Having an active social life. Socializing is tough with a job and little kids at home. Yet, it is an important part and parcel of our life. We are wired to thrive in a community and keeping the social animal alive within is healthy, even if the party is a virtual one!
4. Commit to separate work from life. Shut down your work mode at a fixed time everyday. Feel as committed toward family, as you are toward office.
5. Share your issues with others. Be it your mom, sister, spouse or a friend, have a confidante to discuss your issues with. Sometimes, venting can do wonders too!
6. Note down a few highlights. Every single day comes with it’s own share of surprises and blessings. Note yours down in a “diary of gratitude” and read it to keep yourself motivated from time to time.
7. Discuss your experiences with your kids. It is crucial to communicate to your children through your words and actions, that they are very important in your life. Tell them about your day at work to get to know about their day. Talking to kids is always a two-way process and this trick will bring you closer as a family too.
8. Restrict screen-time during weekends. This rule should apply to the family and not just you. Also, tell your colleagues that you cannot take calls or answer to mails during off-days, weekends and beyond work hours. Start putting OOO (out-of-office) notifications on your phone and email for transparency about your availability and exact vacation dates.
9. Beat monday blues like a ninja. Keep your calendar light on Mondays to start fresh and happy. This strategy will take some load off your shoulders.
10. Outsource chores! The lesser the clutter, the better it feels! If you have older kids, involve them in house-hold chores and gradually you will reap the benefits of your patience.
11. Wrap up chores in advance. Finishing predictable or routine tasks well ahead of time, will keep stuff from piling up at the last-minute.
12. Lastly, manage your time better. Free time does not necessarily mean available time. Turn down invitations or extra responsibilities at work. Taking care of your mental wellbeing is as important as your physical wellbeing.
All the while, stay ahead of the curve when it comes to emerging work-life balance trends. Don’t miss out on crucial rights of an employee or a parent. Afterall, a good work-life balance can have numerous positive effects, like lower risks of burnout and a greater sense of personal well-being. On the side, follow the tips given above as they will prove beneficial. However, only you can decide what type of a lifestyle suits you best.