One of the toughest balances to strike in life is the one that exists between work and home. Many of us need to go to work in order to earn money for the necessities of life. However, it's easy to get swallowed up in work, neglecting what goes on at home, and finding it difficult to “turn off” to play with the kids or spend time with a significant other.
It's important to find that balance, though. If you work too much at the expense of your home life and your relationships, you can find yourself in emotional trouble. Part of a good life balance is being able to earn the money, but also be able to spend time with loved ones, and even spend time on yourself.
If you really want to get that work/life balance right, you need to know when it's time to quit. Whether you work in an office, or work from home, you need to stop working sometimes. Come home in time to eat dinner with your family and talk to your kids. Come out of the home office for a couple of hours to unwind and relax with your significant other.
There are people who set lunch appointments with their younger children, making it a point to have that time out from work each day to spend with their kids. Make an effort to go out with your spouse once a week. At the very least, spend some time together where neither of you mentions work.
Identifying a quitting time is important. You need that line between work and home life. Even if you have to finish something up a few hours later, that time out matters. Know when to quit, and spend time with your family.
Flexible Work Arrangements
One of the benefits of modern society is that technology makes it easier to make certain work arrangements. With some jobs, you can work more flexible hours, perhaps coming in earlier in the day so that you can leave in time to pick your kids up from school. You might also be able to telecommute one to three times a week. Find out what options there are for working flexibly at your job.
Even if you don't make as much money, there is a lot to be said for working for an employer that allows you to be flexible in your work. The ability to take time off for school presentations, or to work from home some days, can make a big difference in the way you balance your work life and home life. In some ways, finding the right balance actually means a better blending of the two.
Consider your options, and think about how you want your life to look. Start making the changes, a little at a time, to add a little more home life into your schedule. You might be surprised to find that your productivity at work goes up, and that your life satisfaction improves.
What do you do to balance work life and home life?