Article by Jasmine Clubb of Bizwize Business Solutions
10 Tips for achieving a healthy work-life balance
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tricky, especially for working mum’s (trust us, we know!) but it isn’t impossible.
As women, we feel enormous stress with societal expectations pressuring us to hold down a job while simultaneously raising a family (not to mention we have to look good while we’re doing it!). Author, Amy Westervelt, says it perfectly in her book Forget Having It All, “We expect women to work like they don’t have children, and raise children as if they don’t work.”
Well we’ve done some research, put it to the people, talked among ourselves and compiled a list of the best tips and tricks to better manage our time and ace that work-life balance we all try so hard to achieve. Here our top 10 tips plus 1 bonus tip.
1. Let go of the guilt.
First things first, let’s get rid of that guilt. Why should you feel guilty for trying to better your family? You shouldn’t! So, let’s stop that right now. Easier said than done right?
Harvard Business Review has a great article about Mum-guilt, we recommend you give it a read. But seriously, stop being so hard on yourself, know that you are enough, know when to ask for help, and let go of those unrealistic expectations you have of yourself.
You got this, girl!
2. Plan ahead.
Using planners, calendars, lists, etc are all great ways of staying organised and on top of things.
A calendar in a communal family area works really effectively as it allows all members of the family to communicate their commitments and track who will be where when. These, of course, can also be done electronically for those that are more environmentally conscious.
3. Schedule conference calls during your daily commute.
If you have a decent commute to and from work, why not try and get all your calls done during this time? If driving, put your phone on speaker, of course, and away you go.
You’ll be surprised how quick it makes your commute feel too.
4. Maintain an open line of connection with your clients.
Honesty is the best policy and chances are your clients and co-workers understand your family commitments. Sure, this isn’t always the case, but if we don’t speak up now then nothing will change.
5. Food shop online.
Did you know that major supermarkets actually let you save shopping lists to your online account? So if there are multiple items you buy regularly this is a major time saver!
This is also a good way to make sure you don’t forget anything, plus you don’t get tempted by unnecessary things that would normally catch your eye in the shop.
You can order the shopping in 2 ways – (1) to be collected from the store itself, or (2) delivered to your front door.
6. Meal prep.
Meal prep is a sure way of saving time and ensuring your family eats healthily. For example, smoothies can be made ahead of time and frozen in zip-lock bags or ice cube trays ready to be defrosted at your convenience. Other examples of easy to make and freeze foods include cereal bars, muffins, lasagnes, and shepherd's pies.
View more tips and recipes here.
7. Prepare the night before.
Make the lunches, get the clothes out, pack the bags all the night before. This is a massive time saver in the mornings, which, let’s face it, are already chaotic enough!
8. Consider childcare.
Childcare can be a bit of a taboo subject with many families having negative feelings towards it. However, this is a good option for families who have to work past school hours. Alternatively, for a more personal approach, consider hiring a nanny.
9. Increase your productivity at work.
We are all addicted to our phones, no secret, but if you can put the phone down and spend more time engaged in work tasks during work hours, there’ll be less work to bring home at the end of the day. The same goes for socialising during work hours. Whilst it’s great to have a relationship with your co-workers, we recommend keeping the chat to a minimum to stay on task.
10. Delegate and share the chores.
A rota can be very useful for this tip. Share the housework and chores between your family members (yes, children and husbands can clean too). Now I know what you're thinking... If I want it done properly, I have to do it myself... right? But with a little patience and guidance it really can make the world of difference.
Stuck on what to delegate? View a full list of age-appropriate chores here.
Bonus Tip. Ditch the iron.
Did you know clothes can be hung on hangers straight out of the washing machine and they dry uncreased?
This is a fantastic time-saving hack. On the other hand, if you are in a position to do so, there are professional ironing and cleaning services around that can do these jobs for you.
In the wise words of Oprah Winfrey, “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams”.
We see you, girl. We see you.