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I’m so honored Harleena has asked me to share my thoughts on how to balance a family and work-from-home career.
Even during our email exchange about the topic, I already knew what I was going to say because I strive to achieve a work-life balance on a daily basis.
So before I get into today’s post, I’d take this moment to thank Harleena for letting me share these suggestions with you, her audience.
Whenever anyone asks me what is the most challenging part of having a work from home life, without a doubt my first response will be – maintaining a balance between my family life and work-from-home business.
Why Do People Lose Their Work-Life Balance
Well, just like an office job, work from home too has a sense of determination to be a success. There are still dreams of being promoted and then there are times one will put in some overtime for extra money.
And those are just a couple of reasons why one may lose their balance when a work-from-home career or home-based business gets in the way of family time.
Yes, even a work-from-home career can affect family life. I wouldn’t say that I’m the guru of balancing the family and my work-from-home business because I’ve worked plenty of late nights to prove otherwise. I’d like to consider myself a work in progress.
Why Is It Important To Have Work-Life Balance
Dictionary.com describes work-life balance as the achievement of equality between the time spent working and one’s personal life. Meaning, you can’t spend your life working all the time. You have to make time for other areas of your life like family, volunteering or anything else that brings you happiness.
Making time for things outside of your career or business will give you a sense of fulfillment. When you have a work-life balance, you have less stress and less stress means you can work more efficiently for your customers or clients.
The time off away from work also gives you the opportunity to refresh the mind and perhaps result in being more creative at work or for your business.
How To Tell You’re Losing Your Balance
Here’s a list of questions for you. If you answer yes to one or more of the following questions, you might be focusing too much on your work-from-home career or home-based business.
1. Do you sit in the bedroom with your laptop while your partner is next to you watching TV? You can hear him or her talking but can’t make out what they’re saying because you’re typing away…Not that it’s happening to me right now, lol.
2. If you get up in the middle of the night, do you check your email before going back to bed?
3. Are you skipping dinner and ordering take-out just to work longer hours?
4. Are you working on the weekend when you said you wouldn’t?
5. When spending time with the family, do you find yourself drifting away and thinking about work?
How did you do? Not to worry, I do these myself and it wasn’t difficult to come up with these questions either. We’ve probably done this at some point or another but there is a way we can change to get our balance back.
Three Key Things To Keep In Mind For A Work-Life Balance
I’ve had plenty of practice to try and get this down. Even through the craziness of my work and home schedules, I still manage to make time for the family and other things that are important to me like volunteering at my church.
There are three key things you have to do in order to make this happen. Yes, you have to work at it because it won’t happen by itself but no worries there are three very simple things you have to be.
You have to be flexible. This is the most important thing. There are going to be distractions throughout the day and then there are things like doctor’s appointments that can keep you away from the office. Thanks to technology we can take our work with us.
Smartphones and iPads make it possible to keep in touch with clients or a supervisor. With email and social media at your fingertips you’ll be accessible and there are apps that make it possible for you to work away from your desk. Even bloggers can create a post while sitting in a waiting room somewhere.
You have to create a schedule and stick to it. When you have a work-from-home career you can select the schedule that best fit your needs but when you have a home-based or online business you can easily find yourself working in the wee hours and skipping dinner all for the sake of your business and its success.
You have to make time for family so make a rule. In my house we are a family of 5 and there are four different schedules going on. And even though my kids are becoming young adults the one rule we won’t break unless there’s a scheduling conflict, is to have dinner as a family.
If that’s the only time we have to be together then that’s what we do. No cell phones, no TV, it’s just the family talking about what went on during the day and enjoying a home-cooked or fast-food meal.
Some Things You Can Do To Find A Work-Life Balance
• Take advantage of car rides to school to talk to the kids about what’s going on in their lives. You can have a great conversation in 10 minutes.
• Take out the laptop and join the kids at the dinner table as they’re doing homework.
• See if you can delegate some of your work. Sites like Fiverr and Odesk have freelancers willing to help you out and on the cheap. If you can afford it, it would be worth the investment.
Time management will play a key role in maintaining a balance between your family and work-from-home career. A balance between family and a work-from-home career or work-from-home business will remind you why you’re working in the first place.
Over To You –
What do you do to balance family and work? Fill out the comments section below and let us know how you keep your work-life balance. What’s the secret to your success?
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