10 tips for balancing work and family time

Easy-to-implement ways to get better at balancing your work-life alongside your family time.

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If you find it difficult to balance your career and family life, you’re not alone. According to a 2015 survey, only 34% of full-time employees in the United States strongly believe they have a good work/life balance. While, for most of us, our career plays an essential role in our everyday life – there are some easy-to-implement ways to get better at balancing our work life alongside our family time.

1. Reduce your stress levels

Countless studies have explored the connection between stress and illness. One such study, carried out over five years in Belgium, concluded that high strain work environments combined with a lack of social support are “predictive of sick leave" within Belgium’s workforce. With this in mind, reducing stress should be a no-brainer for anyone who’s hoping to get the most out of their work-life and family time. The good news is, there are plenty of simple yet effective ways to relieve stress. Some evidence-based techniques for managing stress that you can apply to your everyday life include breathing exercises, meditation, cognitive behavioural therapy, and mindfulness exercises – to name a few.

2. Discuss workplace flexibility with your employer

If your current work structure is making it difficult to achieve work/life balance, consider approaching the topic with your employer. With workplace flexibility, juggling the demands of your personal life and professional responsibilities can be much easier. Flexible working hours at the office and having the option to work from home (where feasible) can help to make family commitments much more manageable. Chances are, you’ll also experience a deeper sense of job satisfaction in the process.

3. Create a plan

If your weeks tend to lack structure and allocated family time, it might be time to draw up a plan. Map out what your weeks currently tend to look like: what isn’t working? What aspects would you like to continue with? What parts of your week are compulsory? Once you’ve figured these things out, create a family calendar that allows you to move through your week at a slower pace – allowing more time for the things that matter to you.

4. Focus on family-friendly workouts

“How do you work out when you have kids?” is a frequently searched question on Google. The answer? Incorporate exercise into your family time. A 2014 study found that there is a direct link between the physical activity levels of a mother and her children – which offers all the more inspiration to develop a family exercise routine. Choose activities that will allow you, your spouse and your kids to work out while having fun. This could be a backyard soccer game, a family bike ride, indoor rock climbing, or even just putting on some music and dancing around the house.

It's not only a good way to make the effort to exercise, but also a great way to bond as a family.

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5. Prioritize and delegate

The reality is that many of us simply have too many things on our to-do lists. Rather than losing sleep, focus on your priorities and set realistic expectations. What are the things that simply must be on your calendar this week? List them in order of priority and check them off accordingly. Is there anything on your list that can be removed or postponed? At work, are you able to delegate any of your tasks? At home, can you lighten the house cleaning load by spreading it out amongst your family members – leaving more room for quality family time? This process of prioritizing and delegating can help to pave the way to achieving a better work/life balance.

6. Seek out support

If you’ve looked at your priorities, planned out a calendar, and delegated certain tasks – yet still find that you’re struggling to find a healthy balance between your work and family life – it might be time to seek support. Depending on your circumstances, this may mean: looking at childcare options, speaking to your siblings about supporting you in providing care to elderly parents, or perhaps hiring a cleaner to help you around the house. There are many choices available to get the help you need. Go back to your calendar and see what tasks can be outsourced.

7. Schedule in phone calls

When you’re balancing work, sleep, raising children, going to the gym, and spending time with your partner – it’s understandable that other relationships might start to fall through the cracks. Particularly as many of us are balancing work and family during COVID-19 social distancing, it is so important to maintain these relationships. A simple way to keep in touch is to set a reminder on your phone to call your parents, grandparents, relatives, or friends. Over the years, researchers have found a clear link between the quality of our relationships and our quality of life – so it’s worth investing your time in that daily phone call.

8. Take a technology break

While technology plays an important role in providing work flexibility, constantly having your emails in the palm of your hand can be detrimental to a good work/life balance. It’s advisable to set specific times during the day when you can put your technology away and simply enjoy being present with your family or friends. According to an article by Sonoma State University Professor of Psychology Mary Gomes, the benefits of taking a break from technology include: increased present-moment awareness, improved sleep, deeper human connections, and improved productivity – all things that support work/life balance!

9. Develop a daily routine

Creating an everyday routine for yourself is almost as important as creating a daily routine for your kids. A daily routine can help you to develop a practice of taking some time for your wellbeing, a way to ease in and out of your workday, and can help to develop pockets of daily family time. These daily habits can be as simple as beginning your day with a health supplement, aiming to consistently start and finish work at set times, and eating dinner together as a family. It all starts with positive, achievable habits.

10. Take care of your mitochondria

Of course, achieving your career and family goals ultimately comes down to taking care of your health and energy levels. To do this, it’s important to look after your body’s mitochondria: the power banks that generate the energy and health your cells need for your body to function effectively. An easy way to support the health of your mitochondria is to take MitoQ – our world-first cellular optimizer designed to support mitochondrial health. If you’d like to learn more about how MitoQ can support your daily wellbeing and energy needs.

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