How to Balance Family and Business
People often feel pulled in multiple directions. We multitask like it’s nobody’s business, and as errands and lack of time pile up, we end up overwhelmed and stressed.
That’s not good for you. It’s not good for your family. And it’s not good for your business. When you’re stretched in too many directions, without focusing on one thing, who wins?
Did you know that by multi-tasking and jumping around, it can take you twenty minutes to get back to a focused activity? According to a study by the University of California Irvine, it takes 23 minutes to get back on task. And how many times a day do you get distracted?
By focusing on one project at a time, you’ll do deeper work, and spend more quality time doing things that matter. That goes for family time and work.
But how do you balance them?
Ways to Balance Work and Family
Many people can easily separate the two, while others struggle. They may feel pulled by a large project, or their boss emails them after hours and expects an employee to be present to respond.
Here are some tips to help you get the balance right:
· Turn off your phone when you leave work. Once you’re home, focus on your family. When you’re off the clock, you’re off the clock. Your kids will appreciate your full attention, and not feel like they’re battling against your phone screen time.
· If you’re salaried and need to do work at home, set aside blocks of time. This means, from a predetermined set of time, you’ll be working. Then you set another block for your family. The key is to make sure your family respects your work block. The way to do that is to show your full focus when it’s your family’s turn. No half-way focus, with: "quick, let me check my email".
· Sit down and eat meals together as a family. Turn off phones, screens, televisions, and talk to one another. Make it a regular occurrence that meals are shared together and are a priority.
· If there are chores or things to do around the house, do them together. Make it fun, or meaningful as a good time to talk. Sometimes it’s not how many moments you set aside but making sure the person you’re with feels valued and acknowledged.
Nobody said it would be easy. In fact, as per Pew Research Center:
Balancing work and family life can also make parenting more challenging. Fully 38% of mothers and fathers say being a working parent makes it harder to be a good parent.
Stress Rises with Too Many Conflicts
Work matters. Yes. It pays the bills. But your family matters, too. In fact, by putting aside quality time for your family, you can lower your stress. If everybody feels appreciated, there’s less conflict at home. This makes you more productive when you go back to work.
If nights are busy with too much work, then set aside breakfast time or weekends for quality moments. If you have children, it’s essential to make them feel like they don’t have to fight for your attention. Their development relies on you being there for them, and knowing they are a priority.
When a child feels secure and loved, they’re less likely to act out both at home and at school.
And let’s be honest, your mental health is at risk if you’re pulled in too many directions. When at work, be present at work. At home, give your family the attention they need and deserve. It’s as good for your health as it is for theirs.
Setting viable boundaries is the first step in finding the balance between your home life and work.
Bedtime can be a great chance to wind down. Read books or watch a show together. Sometimes just being present and not focused on your phone, laptop, or other distractions can make all the difference.
*What tips or advice did I miss? What helps you be a strong, clear, and effective communicator? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
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