When it comes to working, most parents will try their hardest to figure out how to perfectly balance out their work and their families. While the work-life balance has had some blurred lines thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, there isn’t entirely a one size fits all solution for balancing out this tricky equation. Remote working has taken off and has become much more normalized since the start of the pandemic. This meant a lot of offices were switching to working from home and having meetings via Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Thanks to this, it’s made people seem easily available around the close.
Whether it’s your boss, clients, or even your co-workers, there is now this expectation that everyone is easily reachable. This constant pressure of always having a presence, having to be easily reachable after hours, and the high pressure of performance can take a toll on one’s mental health. This is also stacked on top of the expectations at home such as chores, cooking, spending time with the children, proper parenting, and spending time with the spouse as well. It can sound like a lot to chew on but there are thankfully some small ways to manage a work-life balance all without having to fall behind on one or the other.
Have a time where everyone in the household disconnects from technology
The idea itself may sound scary, especially if you have a job where you’re very likely to be contacted after hours. In this case, you can still have your phone around you so you’re still easily reachable, but you’re not using the device. Whether it be 30 minutes or an hour, having quality time with your family without the use of technology is essential. This gives you the chance to catch up, have fun, and get to communicate with your loved ones. This time can be at the dinner table, playing board, games or whatever you like.
Just pick a specific window that is convenient for everyone. This window is going to be the time that you and your spouse are most likely not going to hear from your work. Creating this sort of habit is better for everyone’s mind. You’re mentally absent if you’re using technology in gathering, so doing this is the best way to make sure you and everyone else is present.
Do small chores throughout the day
If you have any sort of time throughout the day such as small breaks, waiting for a call or email, or anything else, doing small chores here and there can make a massive difference. For example, if you’re waiting for a client to call you back, you can quickly throw in a load of laundry into the washer machine. If you’re waiting for a meeting to begin, you can quickly put up the dishes from the dishwasher. Doing all of these small tasks throughout the day is going to help make the experience after work seem far easier. Of course, this example only applies if you’re home. Learning to cook can also help out immensely in saving time such as doing meal prepping.
Separate work and home
While it’s okay to talk about work with your spouse, try your best to keep the two lives separate. If you’re physically going to work, once you’re on your way home you should immediately switch off. The same can be said if you’re working at home. If you have a workstation at homes such as a specific desk or a home office, once you’re finished with work for the day, immediately leave that desk or that room and don’t get around it again until it’s time for work once more. Ideally, you would disconnect from technology until the next day. This means not checking your email until the morning, not listening to any voicemails until the morning. This also means disconnecting completely during your time off such as vacations.
Set Boundaries and Protect them
There are some jobs where you simply cannot have boundaries, such as those who work in the medical field or another type of essential work. Excluding these types of occupations, be very firm towards your clients, boss, manager, co-workers, or anything else that certain hours cannot and you will not be available. The same can be said on days that you’re off such as weekends, holidays, and vacations. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being firm about the times you are working and you’re not working.
If you’re not getting paid extra for work, then why do it? Working past hours is limiting your family time. Being firm about this to everyone is going to be the way to earn respect. You shouldn’t have to fit into others’ schedules.
Understand that catching up on work isn’t always worth it
Those long hours after dinner or even staying overnight at the office to catch up on work isn’t truly worth it. The reality of these all-nighters is that you’re truly not catching up on work. You’re just taking on more work, which is making it hard for yourself. That’s why you need to set boundaries. If you believe that you’re truly falling behind on deadlines, arriving to work early and skipping some breaks throughout the day could work. But taking on all-nighters isn’t the way, and it’s only going to push your clients, boss, and co-workers into thinking that you’re going to continue taking on more work. Once this expectation happens, it’s harder to get out of.
Look into starting your own business
Some people escape the rat race so they can work for themselves. So many companies expect that you’re available at all times so it suits their needs. That’s no way to live at all. Having your own business allows you to easily set boundaries without any fears. Nowadays starting up a business doesn’t need to be hard at all. You can look into companies such as WEBX360.COM for setting up a website. Being your boss can be rewarding and it can truly take all the pressure away from having to overwork yourself just so your boss and upper management get richer.