It’s not easy trying to raise your kids, run a household, and still find time to advance your career. Trying to find the right balance so that you don’t keep missing key events in your children’s lives but still have time to manage a stressful workload can be a challenge. However, it’s not impossible. With some planning and a little restructuring of your daily diary you might find that you spend a lot less time being stressed and far more time getting work and home in perfect alignment. If you're on the verge of tearing your hair out due to the pressures of balancing home and work, here are some great ways to strike the right balance between being a parent and having a career.
Address Your Hours
Not every workplace will allow for more flexibility, but you might be surprised by how common it has become. Flexi-hours are one of the growing employment trends, and that means that it’s always worth having a chat with your boss. If you have a partner, and they too can be given the option of flexi-time, then it might become very easy indeed to start staggering your hours so that one of you is always home, without losing out on valuable shifts. This is a great first step to managing your life more proactively and can have a huge effect on your work-life balance.
Be Stricter about Work Hours
When you're at work, you're working. While this seems obvious, the fact is that having a busy career often means that you end up taking your work home with you. Make sure that you finish work exactly when you're meant to. If you have to leave the office at 4:45 pm, then make sure that’s when you leave. It’s useful to let people at work know exactly when you finish so that there is no confusion when you start packing your bags and heading out of the door. When your colleagues know that you have to leave at a set time, they are less likely to delay you with extra tasks that can wait until your next shift.
If you're studying and being a parent, then it can be very difficult to structure your days. Lectures and seminars can take place at any time of the day, and those times change from semester to semester. That makes it a real challenge to find some kind of balance. That’s why so many parents are making the transition on online learning. Studying online can be done in your own time, and at your own pace. If you're working hard to get a better career, then signing up for online MBA programs in Michigan can give your career a boost, without taking you away from your family.
This is a brilliant resource and you should be using it with wild abandon. When you're not at work, adjust your email settings on your phone. This can actually be a very liberating thing to do for everyone, not just parents! The reason why this is so important to do is that it can help prevent you from glancing at your phone every minute. When you're at a school play or at parent’s evening, you’re there because you want and need to be. Don’t get distracted by work communications. Divided attention means that your children aren’t getting everything that they need from you, and that your employer will not be getting you at your best. Make sure that when you're with your family, you're with them.
Perks of Modern Life
There's a lot of bad news in the world, which can make it easy to forget just how brilliant modern life is. Incredible technologies and amazing trends have the potential to make your life immeasurably easier. If you dread the weekly trek to the store to get the grocery supplies, then just don’t do it. Online ordering and store deliveries can be a real game-changer when it comes to managing your time more efficiently. Rather than spending hours wandering the aisles of a supermarket, set up shopping lists and have them ordered for you on a rolling basis. Not only does this mean that you can cut down on the amount of time it takes to get your shopping done, you also avoid having to take the kids to the shop, where candy temptation and unhealthy spending is backed up by whining and complaints.
On your commute and your lunch break, you have the time and space to get things done for home. You could run some errands on your lunch, or fill out school forms while on public transport. If you're studying for a degree or learning something new for work, the drive back and forth is a great time to listen to audio lectures or industry-relevant podcasts. Don’t just stick music on during your commute. This can be valuable time, especially if you’re cursed with a lengthy journey to and from the workplace. Use that time more productively, and you will get a lot more done in your free hours. You might even free up enough time to be able to put your feet up at the end of the day!
There’s a reason why outsourcing has been used by businesses since forever. It frees up the time of employees and allows them more time to work on profitable tasks. However, not enough parents realize that they can outsource household chores, and the benefits are the same: your time will be freed up so that you can spend more time bonding with your children. Budgets are an issue of course, but if you have the spare cash, you can outsource:
- Cleaning the house
- The school run
- Money management and bill paying
Never underestimate how much these tasks can take you away from your more important role as a parent.
Being a parent is hard, and it’s made even more challenging if you are trying to manage a full-time job or studying hard for the next step on your career ladder. Make sure that you take advantage of the tech and trends of the modern age. With the right mindset and a more tailored approach to your schedule, you could become a master of juggling your demanding career/life balance.