By Mckenna Clarke, blog writer at TOP CFOS
Let’s face it. You are a busy, hard-working employee or business owner. Maybe you were one of the group of 19% of Americans who committed to spend more time with family and friends in the new year.
Devoting too much time to work has been shown to lead to more stress, lower performance, poor physical and mental health, and strained relationships, not to mention the happiness it brings to us and our loved ones. Even though we recognize the benefits of spending time with family and friends, it’s not as easy to keep as it may seem.
How can you make the resolution for better balance a reality in 2017? Here are a few suggestions to get you started and keep you on that path this new year:
- Leave work at work. Once you’re home, put aside the phone and laptop and be present with your family.
- Tell your family about your work. This is an especially valuable educational opportunity for kids. Simplify things for them to understand, but try not to lecture. They’ll learn something new, and plus, they’ll be able to brag about their cool mom or dad on the playground.
- Eat together. Studies show that eating dinner together regularly yields positive health, self-esteem, and familial relationship benefits for children. Even if you come home late and your family has already eaten, try to sit down and have a small snack with your kids before bed. Talk about their day and tell them about an interesting part of your day. Ask, “What did you do today that you’re proud of?” “What was something that made you smile today?”
- Carve out time for family in advance. Schedule into your busy week a date night with your spouse and one-on-one time with each child. Put it in your calendar and be sure not to miss those important appointments. This way, you get to show your family how much you care with special time.
- Accept that imbalance is sometimes unavoidable. Nothing in life is ever going to completely be in balance 100% of the time. If a family member is sick, you may need to spend more time at home taking care of him or her. If you have a big presentation due at work, you may need to skip family dinner some night. Be flexible, but keep the ideal as a goal.
Your work-home balance is not going to improve at once. I don’t know anyone who has the perfect balance, 100% of the time. Don’t worry, just try setting a goal to do one of these things each month or each week and watch as you slowly regain control in your life.