Finding a natural solution
The world people live in today entails an avalanche of to-do list items that are demanding to be ticked off. Amid these urgent tasks you may have a family with whom you want to spend time, as well as a job that provides for you and your loved ones. Finding a work-life balance is important for attaining happiness, personally and professionally. It can seem like a tough act to pull off, but learning how to balance work and family life is not impossible. Follow these tips for the best results.
Photo courtesy Lord Monark Larion, via Flickr/Creative Commons
Know Your Priorities and Stick To Them
No one can have it all, but that doesn’t mean you can’t set priorities for the work-family life that you want to achieve. When the Philippine Star asked busy mothers who juggle work and family what their secret was, sticking to one’s priorities emerged as one of the top-credited secrets.
Make a mental list of what matters to you, and bring out this list whenever you are confronted with decisions. It may be hard at first, especially if you’re wired or pressured to excel in both, but it will get easier over time. It will also ensure that you stop, or at least spend less time on, the trivial things and focus on what’s most important.
Use Your Work Schedule to Your Advantage
For example, most call center employees follow Western time zones. This can result in night shifts, clocking out in the morning when the rest of the country is just starting their day. Make the best out of such a situation by using low-peak hours to complete errands such as grocery shopping, paying the bills, and so on. You could also avoid the traffic to and from the office by commuting when the streets and vehicles and not that jam-packed, and you might even want to take a power nap in the sleeping quarters if you arrive early at work.
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Enjoy at Least One Meal a Day with Your Family, Every Day
It may be a simple act, but it’s the simple things like these that shape and nurture relationships at home. If you’re a parent struggling to create a work-life balance, you know all too well how precious each moment is with your children. Time flies fast, and before you know it your kids are no longer the babies you once cradled in your arms.
Sit down and enjoy a nice meal with your family upon getting home or before leaving for work. When you do gather at the dining table, put away cell phones and other gadgets so you can ask them how their day went, among the many other things that you want to know as a parent.
Use Your Lunch Hour Wisely
Why head out and wait in lines when you can sit at the pantry with your packed lunch? Aside from saving money and sparing you from unhealthy food choices, bringing your own lunch gives you more precious minutes that add up.
Consider taking shorter lunches so you can ease your busy schedule. For example, put notes on accounts you handle; look up call procedures that you need to refresh; ask your supervisor about work concerns. Basically, strive to compress your schedule so you won’t have to stay in the office long after your shift ends.
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Schedule a Day to Bond with Your Family and Coworkers
Although you get to see them every day, it’s not necessarily the same as spending quality time with them. A healthy camaraderie at the office strengthens teamwork and makes work more enjoyable. Share in team-building sessions.
On the other hand, a satisfying life at home brings you a different kind of fulfillment. Pencil in a movie marathon or family vacation. Such activities will bring you closer to the people you’re surrounded with every day, as well as relieve stress.
Plan Your Schedule and Activities for the Week
Devote one day a week to sit down, think about everything you need to do, and organize these tasks. Group tasks geographically as much as possible to avoid circling the entire metropolitan.
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Go On Dates with Your Significant Other
Don’t forget to make time for your significant other. Even the simplest of dates will do as long as you assure him or her that you’re making your relationship a priority. Don’t let a day pass by without talking with one another, even if your job left you dead tired. It doesn’t take much to send a text message or make a short call. Chill out together on your rest day. Go to a spa or explore a new place together.
Think About How Every Change Could Affect Your Work and Family Life
Change is inevitable, and unfortunately it can be a major source of work and family stress. Fret not. Take it as an opportunity—or a challenge—to make things better than before. Does a change in your work schedule pose a family conflict? Try talking with your team leader as soon as you learn about it. Perhaps you can swap schedules with a teammate or file for a leave.
Take Time to Relax
Don’t let work-life stress take its toll on you. The bad vibes will just rub off on the people around you, which can in turn result in an even more negative atmosphere. So do something about your situation, and if things cannot be changed, the best that you could do is to take a hint from a famous song and shake it off. Shower even for a few minutes to wash it all down. Breathe in and breathe out. Then go on with your day and take everything in stride.
Photo courtesy Andrew Kalat, via Flickr/Creative Commons
Take Care of Your Health
There is no better way to cope with managing a work-family balance than by having a sound mind and body. With more energy and less illness, you’ll be able to strike a balance for success. Eat well, drink plenty of water and take your vitamins. Aim to be active every day, as sitting too much at work can add to a sedentary lifestyle. Indulge in your hobbies that make you fit and sharp. More importantly, keep a healthy and positive outlook no matter what circumstance you find yourself in.
These tips for gaining career and family life leverage will help you cultivate happiness by finding the key to a balanced life. Soon enough, you will be garnering excellent feedback, especially if you work in a company like IBEX that recognizes its employees, while being committed to your family and loved ones. Now, that’s the best of both worlds.
Aby League is a medical practitioner and an Elite Daily writer. She also writes about business and other topics of great interest. She also writes a blog, About Possibilities. Follow her @abyleague and circle her on Google+.