Managing the demands of your career while being fully present at home requires a delicate balancing act. In a 2017 employee happiness survey, 48 percent of employees who felt unhappy on the job cited a lack of work-life balance as the culprit.
Maybe you want to inject more productivity into the hours you spend at the office, so you have more time for your family during off-hours. Or perhaps you would like to work from home more often. Developing habits that encourage the kind of work-life balance you seek can help you create a schedule that suits you, your career, and your family.
Here are some tips:
- Streamline your routine.
A work calendar that’s cluttered with to-dos can leave you feeling stretched thin. If your family’s schedule is equally packed with sports, music lessons or other activities, it can become even more difficult to find time for one another. Look at how you spend your days and when possible cut out — or reduce — the number of activities that are sapping your time and energy.
- Ditch multitasking.
Tackling multiple work-related tasks at the same time can make you feel like you’re getting more done but can actually backfire. Trying to multitask can eat up 40 percent more of your productive time, while switching to single-task mode could help you recover 16 hours each week, research has shown. Being able to spend that time with family is a great motivator to adopt a laser-focused approach so you work more efficiently.
- Build downtime into your schedule.
If trying to do it all keeps you from getting enough rest, your work performance could suffer. Six in 10 workers say that lack of sleep affects things like motivation and productivity on the job. A lack of rest can also leave you with less energy for your family. Consider turning in earlier a couple of nights a week if you’re waking up tired. If that’s not doable, aim to block out time over the weekend to rest and recharge.
- Get a reprieve from the office.
More than half of employees say home is their preferred place to work, an employee happiness survey has found. If working from home full-time isn’t an option, talk to your employer about the possibility of telecommuting part of the week. Even one day a week spent working at home could make you feel less stressed when you head back to your regular work space.
- Set boundaries.
One in four Americans say they regularly bring work home and that it interrupts time with family and friends. If you leave work at 5 p.m. but you’re still answering emails at 9 or 10 that night, you may need to reset your work-life balance. Establishing a firm cut-off time for answering emails or taking work-related calls can take the pressure off so you can focus on what matters most at the end of the day — being there for your family.
- Create a budget.
More than half of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings. When you don’t have any cash tucked away, you may feel more pressure to step up your work hustle, sacrificing family time in the process. Creating a budget can put you back in control of your finances and your time. Your budget should reflect what you earn each month and what you spend. The goal is to have money left over that you can add to an emergency savings cushion so you can worry less about your finances and focus more on enjoying family time and doing the things you love.
This article is provided for general informational purpose only and should not be construed as advice or solicitation of any specific products or services. Please consult qualified tax, legal, and financial professionals before taking any action.
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