Is your to do list never complete by the end of the day? Do you even have time to write a to do list? Are your kids What'sApp'ing you asking where their dinner is, or does your partner/husband/other half need to book an appointment to see you? If so, maybe your work situation and home life are a teensy bit out of balance.
Despite technological advances and all manner of gadgets at our disposal, supposedly designed to make our lives run smoother, we’re now busier than ever. Many of us are faced with longer working hours while missing out on precious family or leisure time. And the constant pressure to have it all soon starts taking its toll on our health, and everyone suffers. If every day is a struggle to get through, why not start reorganising your life to find a happier work-life balance.
Change your work hours
Continually being expected to work long hours can have a negative impact on your health. If financial reasons mean leaving your job isn't an option, consider whether you could work fewer hours. Many companies offer part or flexi-time, compressed hours (where you work some longer days) or even job sharing. If any of these choices would be beneficial for you, consider approaching your boss or human resources department with your idea. Losing your health simply isn’t a risk worth taking.
If you’re food shopping in your lunch break then rushing home from work only to be greeted by piles of washing and dirty dishes, it’s time to delegate. Running a household requires planning and scheduling just as any workplace does. No-one should be expected to remember everyone’s appointments and activities. Therefore, time management is vital and planning ahead can save precious hours. Delegate wherever possible and make sure everyone does their fair share of household tasks.
Basically, anyone who’s old enough to dress themselves can help out. Get teenagers to bring their dishes out of their room and into the kitchen. And while they’re at it, they may as well collect stray dishes from any other room and then either wash them or put them in the dishwasher. Likewise with dirty washing. Make it clear that anything not in the laundry basket doesn’t get washed.
Use a planner
Have a planner that is clearly accessible and visible to all members of the family. This could be a family organiser calendar hung on a wall in the kitchen where everyone can see it. Ensure they write on their daily schedule so everyone knows what’s happening on any given day.
Alternatively use a family shared Google calendar so everyone in the group is notified each day of their respective tasks for the day.If kids need to be collected, plan in advance who will do this and always have a backup plan if things don’t go as expected.
Shopping for a family is hard work and takes time. Put by an hour or two each week planning weekly meals, making lists of jobs to be done and get the shopping out of the way. If kids are old enough, put them in charge of meals for one or two days a week. This is especially helpful if you organize such events for your busiest days.
Have a roster whereby everyone in the household is allocated daily tasks. As long as everyone does their fair share, this is less likely to cause tantrums and arguments and more will get done. It may take a bit of time setting it all up, but as long as everyone plays their part, it will free up more time for you in the long term.
Finding the ideal work-life balance will be different for everyone. Whether it means working fewer hours for less income, or simply learning how to delegate jobs around the home, never lose sight of your goal. No-one is superwoman or superman and sometimes you just have to accept you can’t do it all. Making changes to your life will take time, but if the end result is a happier home and work life, then you've probably got the balance right.