Guest blogger Kellie Larson (Job Service North Dakota) offers tips and tricks on how to successfully balance work and home life.
It’s been awhile since my last blog. I apologize. We have been busy at Job Service helping everyone, especially our youth with summer employment opportunities. I was finally able to make time to write a short blog about how you can enjoy your summer by balancing work, family, friends, and all of those special summer time activities. I figured this was the perfect time to discuss the topic of finding balance since I need a personal reminder myself.
It’s very easy to get caught up in the day to day activities of life. Often times we forget simple tools to use to keep ourselves balanced and focused. Staying focused at work seems to be more difficult in the summer. It’s sunny outside, the breeze is just right, you have a lawn to mow, a garden to tend to, and let’s face it, you want so much to just sit and bask in the sun. But, you can’t because you have to work. Not being focused at work also carries over into not being focused at home with your family. How do we create that balance between our family at home and our family at work? Here are a few helpful hints or reminders.
It’s highly recommended to make a plan. Plan your day out from start to finish and complete what you need to at work so you leave it at work. Also use this same concept to plan time with your family. Keep in mind what needs to be done around the house. What sporting or summertime events do the kids need to attend? What vacations have you planned? Who may be coming to visit? Determine all the events that you can commit to and learn to say no to the others.
After setting up your plan, create a visual schedule. Write down the things that you discussed with your family when planning your time. Don’t forget to include the time you will be at work. And also don’t forget to allow yourself some extra time in case things don’t go as planned. Keep two copies, one at home and one at work. Although this is recommended it is not always feasible, so your planning can be done daily, weekly or even monthly.
Keeping work and family separate is sometimes impossible. However, you need to try your hardest to do so, so you can make the time you have for both as valuable as you can. When you begin to focus on work at work you will notice an increase in your productivity. When you’re at home your mind will be focused on your family instead of worrying about that pile of paper work that needs to be filed away.
At the end of each work day, make a list of projects for the next day so when you arrive in the morning you can get started right away. Before you lay your head down to rest at night, or bright and early in the morning, jot down a list of home projects and/or errands that need to be done so you’re not worried about the to do list at work. It always seems that work comes before play and/or chores, and for the most part it should. You may want to try switching things up a bit by getting up earlier to fold a load of laundry, do the dishes, work out, or just simply relax. A part of creating balance is consistency and also being creative so you don’t get too bored with day to day life.
“Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday” (Dale Carnegie). Planning your work and family life will contribute to success both on and off the job. Living in the moment will encourage you to create that balance needed to make the most out of your days. It will reduce some of the stressors, improve your quality of life, and encourage a positive attitude. Reminding ourselves of these simple methods will create the change for balancing family, friends, and work.
So before the end of my work day today, I’m going to make a list of what I need to accomplish tomorrow at work. And tonight before I fall asleep I will think of all the things at home and plans I have made so I can stay focused.