6 work-life balance tips for busy working parents.
A work-life balance is important to us all. It is the relationship between your work and other important things in your life, like your social life, your family, sport, household chores, volunteer commitments, studies, and so on. If you feel like you have enough time for all these things in your life, then your work-life balance is probably as good as it can be. However, your work-life balance can change as other commitments such as work and family change.
Unfortunately, if your work-life balance is not ideal, there is no single piece of advice to make working parents’ lives easier. However, the good news is that by setting realistic expectations, you can find an approach that helps you to achieve a better work-life balance in the long term. Here are some of our top tips to help you achieve a better work-life balance:
Talk to your boss
If you are struggling to keep up with the workload, it may be time to talk to your employer about how you feel and the pressure you are experiencing. They may be able to help you overcome some of your issues.
Flexible working is one option available to you. You could consider asking your employer to change your start and finish times, asking them to compress your work week so that you can complete your tasks in fewer days, or you could ask them if you can work from home.
Working part-time is another brilliant option for working parents. As long as you’re financially able, working part-time can help you juggle your home life and your work life.
Before you ask for a meeting with your manager, think about what you want. Try creating a proposal that not only benefits you and your situation but one that also benefits your employer too.
Thanks to the introduction of mobile phones, laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices, we can now be contacted 24/7. While technology can be a great thing, it can also stop us from relaxing or switching off when we get home from work. For example, if you are in a habit of checking your mobile phone for any texts or emails from work after office hours, it could stop you from enjoying time with your family.
Instead, try and set yourself a deadline each day to switch off your mobile devices and stop checking emails. It is also important to leave these devices at home or put them out of reach when you have other important tasks to do, like spending time with your family.
Make time for yourself
Evidence suggests that children pick up on your moods and can tell when someone is feeling stressed or unhappy. If you are feeling this way, it is a good idea to do something that helps you to feel relaxed and happy. In fact, there is nothing more important than taking a little bit of time out for yourself when you are feeling overwhelmed. Whether you choose to use this time to relax and watch a film, read a book, listen to some music, or want to use this time to continue your studies is up to you.
Find a new job
If the job you have is not giving you the work-life balance you need, then now might be the time to look for something new. However, it is important to remember that it can be hard to find a role that offers a good work-life balance, particularly if you don’t have the skills or qualifications needed. You may have to consider continuing your studies in order to find a role that is perfect for you.
While lots of people think that it is impossible to continue their studies once they become a parent, particularly if they also have a full-time job, this is not the case. In fact, there are lots of amazing online courses available that can fit around your busy life. For example, if you are a registered nurse and you want to advance your career, then you could consider completing an online nursing degree; click here for info.
Planning in advance is the key to a good work-life balance for busy working parents. Try planning hectic times, such as the morning when you are trying to get your children ready for school, at the same time as getting yourself ready for work, making breakfast, and preparing packed lunches. Instead of rushing in the morning, try and prepare things at night – make sandwiches for lunch boxes and put them in the fridge, lay out your children’s clothes, etc. This can save a lot of time and stress in the morning.
You could also consider creating a family schedule. Your schedule should include things like family events, appointments, school activities, birthdays, household chores, and dates when you need to pay the bills. You could make your own calendar and hang it up where your whole family can see it, or you could use a calendar app that syncs to your families’ electronic devices. Being organized is extremely important if you want a better work-life balance.
Ask others for help
Even today, it can take a whole village to raise a child. While lots of us do not like to ask for help when we are struggling, it can be one of the biggest keys to success. This is particularly true for single parents who take on the responsibility of raising children on their own. You do not necessarily have to depend on other people, but you should be willing to trade favors with them. For example, you may ask a friend to take your child to school for you and in return, you could offer to cook dinner for their child after school.
When parents arrange assistance that ensures their children are being looked after, they can be more productive at work.
Life as a busy working parent is a juggling act of blending life hours and work hours together to create a cycle that works for you, your family, and your profession. Working parents must be great at everything: raising amazing children, doing their best at work, living a healthy, nutritious lifestyle, and all while having a sorted life. This is often hard to achieve. However, there are lots of things you can do to have a better work-life balance. If you are feeling overwhelmed and do not know how to improve your work-life balance, then try out some of the tips we have listed above.
This infographic was created by Michael Page, a recruitment agency for assistant project manager jobs.