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Eight practical tips to balancing work and family

The biggest problem with balancing your family and your work is time.

Many people find it extraordinarily difficult to find that perfect balance between doing well at work and interacting nicely with their family. Here are eight tips to having a good work-family balance.

1. Dealing with the reward system

One difficulty that people have with balancing their work life and family life is the reward system. The demands of work are tangible and immediate, and the feedback is direct, while the demands of family and the rewards for investing in it are longer terms and less obvious. People often find it difficult to defer the immediate and concrete needs of work for the less measurable rewards of a balanced family life. A good way to combat this would be to create rules, structures, and habits that force you to put work aside and focus on your family.

2. Shutting down work when necessary

Another difficulty is that there is that itch to complete all of your work and then focus on your family; however, there is always more work to do, and sometimes you just have to shut down and focus on your family more.

3. Getting help

A lot of people seem to think that they have to do everything themselves, but the truth is that they don’t. It’s perfectly acceptable to get help for when you can’t be around due to work constraints; live-in help or babysitters are a great option if you have too many work responsibilities to give your children the support they need. However, always keep in mind that they can never be a substitute for you as the parent.

So while it’s something you can occasional look forward to for easing your work-life pressure, it’s definitely not going to be a long-term solution to your problems.

4. Ensuring optimum use of your time

The biggest problem with balancing your family and your work is time. Twenty-four hours a day just don’t seem like enough when you put in all of your responsibilities and needs, plus the time it takes for you to get a decent night of sleep. That’s why you should try to overlap things as much as possible: If you’re at work and you’re allowed to surf the Internet, use your down time to shop online for essentials like baby clothes and diapers.

5. Getting your kids to accompany you in pursuing your hobby

Many people struggle with finding the time to balance work, family, and their own desires. It’s not a crime to have a hobby, but when you have so many responsibilities, it is very difficult to find the time to pursue your hobby. This is where we come back to point 4: Overlapping. If you’re an avid bird watcher, for example, you can involve your children in bird watching, too. If you’re able to blend watching your kids in with doing your favorite hobbies, you’ll be killing two birds with one stone and you will end up with a lot more time on your hands.

6. Utilizing your work flexibility

Certain jobs have more flexibility than others, and if you work at home, it will allow you to simultaneously work and take care of young children. Consider appealing to your employer about allowing you to work from home, and if you cannot work from home every day of the week, consider one or two days of the week that would be best for you to work from home.

7. Making the most out of your productive hours

Another tip for having more time in the day to spend with family is to work in the time of day that feels more productive for you. For example, science shows that most people are more productive in the morning and their willpower recedes as they go throughout the day. If this applies to you, a good method for working more efficiently would be to wake up earlier and go to sleep earlier, so that while you still get the same amount of sleep and do not feel the lack, you will be getting your work done more quickly and will have more time for family needs.

8. Bringing lunch from home

The last tip for creating more time for family is to bring lunch to work instead of going out to eat; many people lose hours to eating out. Think about it: You have to travel to the restaurant or diner, go through the menu, wait for your order to arrive, eat the food, and travel or. Imagine how much easier it would be to just get your food out of a bag and eat it right there at work!