It seems like lots of British parents are struggling to establish a healthy work life balance. Recent research found that nearly 50% of parents work overtime every week, and four out of ten parents are so busy they don’t get the chance to say goodnight to their children when they go to bed.
This can be stressful, especially if you are a business owner. After all, you don’t want to compromise your business – but you also don’t want your children to miss out. Thankfully it is possible to be a great parent and a great business owner; you just need to know how to delegate your time.
Here are five tips to help you establish a better work life balance.
1. How To Establish A Better Work Life Balance: Embrace Flexible Work
If you own a business or have the option to change your hours, consider embracing flexible work. This could mean working from home a few days a week, or it could mean leaving the office early and then finishing the rest of your work from home, later in the evening. This means you can be free at certain times of the day (such as dinnertime), so you get to spend some time together as a family.
So look at how you could reshuffle your hours, or speak to your manager about the problem. It may seem like flexible work is out of reach, but many companies are starting to realise that flexible work is the best option for working parents.
2. Merge Your Calendars
You can also merge your personal and work calendar so that you never have two events at the same time. At the beginning of the week establish the most important upcoming events that week (such as a family meal, a dance recital or an important meeting), and then schedule the more basic admin tasks around those events. This will reduce the chance of scheduling conflicts, and it also means you get to prioritise the events that are the most important to you.
3. Prioritise Family Traditions
You may also want to prioritise specific family traditions that are important to you, such as putting your children to bed. These events should be listed as the most important daily tasks, so you stick to doing them every week (or day). It can be difficult to be a super-parent every hour of the day, especially when you are working full time, but sticking to small, repetitive events will teach your children that you are reliable and trustworthy (and also that you are committed to family time!).
4. Establish A Family Friendly Attitude In The Workplace
Do you own your own business or manage a team? If so, focus on establishing a family friendly attitude in your workplace. Train employees and managers so they know how to support colleagues with children, and encourage families to visit social work events.
5. Try To Avoid Mental Crossover
Finally it is important to avoid mental crossover. So when you are with your family, compartmentalize your thoughts and don’t think about work – and when you are working, try to avoid focusing on your family. Research has found that the brain can’t focus on more than one task at once, so when you do this you will be distracted and less present. Your family deserve your full attention, and so does your work, so don’t worry about both at the same time – just let your merged calendar do the thinking!
Do you want to improve your social media marketing efforts? Click here to find out more about how we can help you.