By: Gabrielle Gardiner
Achieving work-life balance isn’t easy, especially without our normal routines. Now that remote work has been the norm for quite some time, it’s crucial to make sure the whole family strives for healthy habits. For parents struggling with balancing family and work demands, sticking to daily practices to lead a productive, happy life is a game-changer. Juggling an impactful career and a joyful, fulfilling family life is 100% feasible.
With the right mindset, structure to your schedule, and a sense of humor, you can conquer even the most hectic work-from-home week. The ten keys to maintaining your sanity and loving your job are:
1) Master efficient multitasking.
When you work smarter, not harder, you’ll have more time for the people and activities that matter the most in life. Plus, maximizing your personal productivity tactics can make you an overall more motivated and optimistic person. When you feel like you’re accomplishing everything you set out to achieve, it has a positive ripple effect on other areas of your life.
2) Embrace flexibility.
Being flexible when you had a specific plan in mind (whether it’s work or family-related) can feel frustrating, but it’s necessary. When you learn to roll with the punches and make the best of last-minute changes, you’ll feel a lot less stressed. When you can be more flexible and resilient, you can become more efficient, too.
3) Accept help when you need it.
Learning that it’s okay to accept help is a powerful life skill itself. Some people are so reluctant to reach out when they need advice or a helping hand because they don’t want to seem incompetent or “weak” but that’s simply not the case. Everyone needs some guidance navigating the unchartered waters of this year. Understand that asking for help is acceptable.
4) Prioritize health and self-care.
When you prioritize self-care, you’re investing in your mental well-being and work productivity. Self-care can take many forms. Simply spending some time meditating or planning your day makes a difference. After all, the more time you spend mapping out your day, the more accomplished you’ll feel in both your personal and professional life. It’s natural for a busy schedule to weigh down on you when you rush into your day and don’t take care of yourself.
5) Plan date nights and family gatherings.
Set aside time for family and stick to your commitments. Sometimes it’s hard to create boundaries by setting clear working hours and family time, but it’s crucial. Plan a date night in your own home with your partner. Taking this time to strengthen bonds with the most important people in your lives is important.
6) Try a new productivity hack.
Adopt a better technique to knock out tasks so you have more family time. Instead of feeling like all your free time is spent bouncing from one thing to another, knock out housekeeping using task batching so you can fully enjoy blocks of time focused on family fun. Try delegating tasks when possible, if you have too much on your plate. Delegating doesn’t mean you’re lazy or can’t do something. It means you’re keeping efficiency a priority.
7) Try creating a standing desk set-up.
Standing promotes higher energy levels, which can help you keep up with your kids. You spend so much time at your desk set-up—you deserve to be comfortable. Plus, it can help you prevent injury down the line. If you don’t like standing desks, use trial and error to figure out the most natural-feeling system for you.
8) Connect with fellow working parents.
Talk with a cohort of like-minded moms and dads to exchange experiences. There is power in sharing stories and supporting each other with encouraging words. It’s normal for you all to feel conflicted when you’re around your kids more often, yet you’re still overwhelmed with constant work. It’s a crucial reminder that you’re not the only one going through certain challenges.
9) Use your lunch break to be with your family.
Going for a walk with members of your household, or simply hugging your partner and kids, can make a positive difference in your mental state. Plus, just ten minutes of fresh air can help you increase focus.
10) Challenge yourself to stick to a structured schedule.
It can be tough to find a structured routine that works best for an unpredictable at-home work environment. Being flexible is great, but you need a solid baseline schedule. Set boundaries between different tasks, and try not to waver. Parents often feel like they’re always on-call for both work and family while working from home, and that’s never ideal.
With remote work being the new norm, there is a whole new set of challenges to face. Although there are great benefits to working from home, it’s tricky sometimes to be a star employee and actively contributing member of a family simultaneously. To be the best version of yourself for your family you have to remember it’s the small habits that make the biggest difference.
Check out the graphics below outlining some tips for the work from home dad (moms can use these, too!) If you ever feel discouraged, remember that succeeding at the work-life balance will always be challenging. We hope these actionable tips can help.
Gabrielle Gardiner is a writer who is passionate about creating fun and shareable content in the lifestyle space. Her work spans a wide range of topics, some of her favorites including work-life balance, organization, and mindfulness.