How Parents Can Create Work-Life Balance While Working From Home
Achieving that perfect work-life balance can be quite the delicate balancing act for a lot of people. However, if you are a parent that is also working as a coach or consultant, it can throw your stress levels into overdrive.
It is no secret that working parents have a lot on their plates. On top of being good at their jobs, they also have to make sure the kids get to school okay every day, take care of after-school activities and homework, and manage childcare, all at the same time.
If you are working from home as a coach or consultant, chances are that, like most working parents, you are struggling to find that perfect work-life balance. It is not uncommon these days for parents to have feelings of guilt that they cannot give their home life as much time as it deserves, or feel like their work is suffering because they cannot dedicate as much energy to it as they feel they should.
In truth, there is no single piece of advice that will help you create a work-life balance while working from home as a coach/consultant. However, there are several things that you can do to help ease the stress. Here are some of them:
These days, it is easier than ever to be available 24/7. However, this also means that it is very easy to fall into the trap of checking your emails and texts every few minutes even after working hours. Some people take this to the extreme and keep checking on work stuff even on holidays.
This is one of the main causes of friction in the family. Try to establish some balance between how much time you dedicate to work and how much time you give to your family. You can do this by establishing a specific time at which you’ll switch off your work phone. The same goes for checking your emails.
You can also simply avoid picking work calls while on holiday or during the weekends. If this proves difficult to achieve, you can give yourself a short window of a few hours in the day during which you can respond to urgent matters.
It is easy for your home and work life to overlap when working from home as a coach. A simple fix for this is to get organized. Planning in advance for when things get hectic can go a long way in making you feel less stressed and helping you get more things done without sacrificing either your family or work life.
Start by planning your days the night before. Does getting the kids ready for school eat into your work hours? Plan ahead by laying out their clothes and packing their lunches the night before. Let your schedule include everything from holidays to birthdays to school activities and family events. This way, you can be sure that you will not be ambushed by a bake sale the day before it’s due.
Consider getting a calendar app that can sync across everyone’s phones. Google calendars is great for this, and it is free. This will help everyone know what is expected of them so you can make plans as a family.
Have a family night
If you have been feeling like work has been eating up most of your time, consider coming up with a family night where the whole family can do something together. You can play games or watch a movie or just do anything you want together. The idea is to get together regularly, at least twice a month or once a week.
At the same time, have all meals together as a family. It may only be for a few minutes, but if everyone unplugs and takes the opportunity to catch up with each other, it will make you all feel like you are a part of each other’s lives.
Spend some time with your partner
Working from home can sometimes make you feel like you have it all: a non-existent commute, a great work environment, and your biggest cheerleaders all around you all the time. However, work and kids can take up all your time, and your partner can end up feeling neglected.
Start off by having a special night once a month. Mark it on your calendar and make sure you do something extra special on that day. This will help you begin to reconnect, and you’ll get to start enjoying each other’s company once again.
The most important thing to remember as you spend time with your spouse is this: do not talk about your kids or your work. This may sound simple, but it can be quite difficult to accomplish for most couples.
Take good care of yourself
Working as a coach or consultant can take a toll on your physical and mental health. It is easy to put yourself last, taking care of everyone and everything else but you. The result of this is often poor health and stress levels that go through the roof. In the end, the very things that you were working so hard for end up suffering: you can no longer be effective at work due to your poor health, and your stress affects your relationships at home.
Luckily, there are a number of things that you can do to start taking better care of yourself as you work from home:
Eat healthier: Make sure your diet is nutritious and made from wholesome ingredients. Don’t live off leftovers and takeaways.
Get moving: While working from home, it is easy to sit at one place for hours on end. Exercising a little will not only get your blood flowing, but it will also boost your mood.
Sleep well: Since you have no commute, you may find yourself working well into the night. Do not fall into this trap. Sleep is very important for your overall wellbeing, so get all the sleep that you need.
Ask for help: If you have been feeling overwhelmed, it might be time to know your limits and ask for extra help as needed. It is actually smart to lean on people who can support you.
Working from home as a coach/consultant brings with it a lot of challenges. Top of the list is the difficulty in creating a proper work-life balance. It is very easy to get carried away with your work at the expense of everything else in your life. However, with these tips, you can begin to start making some changes in the right direction.
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