You're a Woman, a Mother and a Business Professional; 9 Tips For Optimizing a Work-Life Balance
Updated: May 31, 2022
Whether you're working full-time or part-time, having a job while raising a family is no easy feat. When the pandemic hit, working from home, with the children home from school became my new routine. It wasn't easy making that adjustment. If you're like me, then you are always striving for the right work-life balance. Here are a few tips to help make your day-to-day more manageable and enjoyable.
Tip #1: Determine Your Priorities
Make a list of your priorities and stick to them. Determine what tasks need to be accomplished and when. Make note of upcoming meetings or deadlines in a way that can help you keep track of your upcoming responsibilities. If you tend to lose track of time, it could be helpful to set calendar reminders on your phone alerting you to these things.
Tip #2: Optimize Your Workspace
For those who work remotely, it can be tough to separate your work life and your home life. Creating a dedicated office space can help make this separation clearer while optimizing your productivity during the workweek. Utilizing a room with a door that can close shut during work hours can be useful for letting your family know when you will be on calls or interruptions need to be minimized.
Some ways to optimize your space include:
Checking that your WiFi connection is strong
Having a desk with a comfortable chair
Personalizing it with pictures, a plant, good lighting, etc.
Ensuring it’s quiet and ideal for virtual meetings or conference calls
Tip #3: Stagger Your Schedules
Staggering your schedules doesn’t leave much room for downtime with your partner, but it could be a short-term solution as you balance working from home and caring for young children.
If you can, try waking up at different times in the morning to better work around your child’s schedule. Maybe you can wake up early and finish up any to-do items that you have due that day and then your partner can sleep in late. Then, you can go to bed earlier while your partner works later into the night. It is not ideal, but it allows you and your partner to get work finished while also catering to the needs of your children.
Tip #4: Maintain Some Structure
While there are going to be interruptions, try to maintain structure in your daily schedule. When it comes to your family’s schedule, sometimes keeping it simple is best. If you can, try to keep the same routine week-by-week or day-by-day, as this can help you, your partner and your children feel comfortable and organized even when things are uncertain around you.
Remember to stop working once the day is over, whether that means leaving work at a reasonable time or walking away from your home office.
Tip #5: Delegate Where You Can
If you are a team leader or manager, consider whether there might be some things you can take off your plate and delegate to others. While it can be difficult to let things go, doing so is important for the sake of balance. If there are tasks someone else on your team can handle, don’t be afraid to ask for help or assign them out.
Tip #6: Communicate With Your Team
Communication is more important than ever when striving to put your life in balance. Miscommunication, or lack of communication altogether, can cause time-consuming or costly problems. Be transparent, upfront and open to regular chats with your team members. When everything's able to run smoothly, you can feel good about putting more time and effort into things outside of the office.
Tip #7: Learn From Your Mistakes
Your day is rarely going to go as planned, especially when you are juggling family life with a full-time career. If something goes awry, it’s okay to accept your mistakes, move on and figure out what you did wrong so that it does not happen again.
Did your child forget to turn in an assignment? It’s going to happen from time-to-time. Acknowledge the mistake, help your child accept the consequences and keep moving forward.
Tip #8: Learn to Say 'No'
You can’t do it all. And while it’s hard for many to say no, there are times when you just have to. This goes hand-in-hand with having the ability to delegate. Rushing to complete an assignment or cutting corners to meet a deadline won’t do anybody any favors.
Also, as much as you would love to attend that playdate with another mom but it’s adding more stress than it is worth, it’s okay to say no sometimes or reschedule. There is a fine line to balance when it comes to managing your daily household routine, your children's schedule and work life.
Tip #9: Say Goodbye to Perfection (Where You Can)
If you are spending a lot of time working, you may feel as though you are not giving enough to your family. If your children need extra attention, then you may feel that your job is starting to suffer. Understand that now is not the time to be perfect, and it’s okay to cut yourself some slack. If you burn both ends for too long, the long-term damage could be even greater.
I know it’s a balancing act and some days you are going to feel as though you can’t get your head above water, while other days you feel as though you have it all together. These tips should hopefully help moms, like myself, looking to maintain their professional careers while raising a family.
Ladies, we CAN have it all!
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