Has your partner ever suggested to you that you’re too caught up in work? Or, that they want you to be more present at home? Have you ever thought to yourself that you are too caught up in work? Achieving a successful work-home life balance can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. If you are needing work-home life balance, then you came to the right place! Check out these tips to achieving a successful work-home life balance so that you can feel more relief yourself and in your relationship(s).
Achieving Successful Work-Home Life Balance
1. Set Boundaries- When your work day is over, that’s just it- it’s over. That means that you aren’t checking work calls or emails on your time off or when you’ve clocked out for the day. Set a solid work schedule so that when you’re home, you’re actually home. Now, the second part to setting boundaries to achieve work-home life balance is learning to say “no”. This means, when you are asked to do additional tasks, you don’t always have to say “yes”. Saying “yes” can often require you to work later than expected, work extra hours, work your day off, etc. Learning to say “no” at times shows that you are setting home life as a priority and you aren’t continually overwhelming yourself.
2. Remember You Have Different Roles- Likely, your role at work is not the same role that you have at home. Remember this! When you’re off work, don’t come home in the same role. Oftentimes, in therapy, individuals and couples talk about challenges related to turning off their work role. At work you might be the “fixer” or be in a managerial role. But, at home, your partner likely wants you to listen and be understanding. Have a clear understanding of what role you have at work versus at home and remind yourself of this. Before leaving work for the day, have an adjustment period. Maybe it’s listening to music in the car or reminding yourself that you’re about to transition to a different role. Simply put, leave work at work.
3. Plan Ahead- There may be certain dates that are non-negotiable to work extra or that may even require you to use some of that PTO that you’ve accrued or ask to flex time. Look ahead to see what dates are important for you to carve out time. It’s important to remember that your family and partner are priorities too. So, what are birthdays, anniversaries, certain holidays, etc that are important for you to be home for? When you plan ahead for important dates at home, this helps to balance work to ensure that you can be present for these dates. Start planning ahead and setting this schedule before it’s too late.
4. Have Self-Care Time- It’s unreasonable to think that your life is going to be solely work and couple/family time at home. You need time for yourself too! Find a self-care routine that fits for you and your needs. Maybe this includes going to the gym, joining a league with friends, reading, listening to music, meditating, etc. Having self-care time can help you de-stress and help balance work and home life stress. Be intentional in creating self-care each day (even if for 10 minutes) because your physical/mental health is vital to having work-home life balance.
5. Communicate Often- It’s understandable that circumstances come up at work or at home that interfere with your initial plans. If these circumstances are unavoidable and non-negotiable, be sure to communicate about this to your partner, your manager, your family, or whoever needs to be involved. When communication doesn’t happen, it can feel like you forgot about plans with your partner/family or that they weren’t a priority to you. Be sure to keep lines of communication open so that everyone is on the same page. A helpful tip here can be to have a brief check-in with your partner/family each day or once a week so that you both have the same understanding of what schedules look like for the next day/week.
As stated above, achieving a successful work-home life balance is difficult, but it’s not impossible. And when you apply these tips consistently, work-home life balance can be achieved. Don’t believe it? Test it for yourself! You’ll be relieved when you do!
About the Author
Amanda Cummins is a marriage counselor with The Marriage and Family Clinic. She focuses on working with couples in distress as well as families and children in transitions. As a Denver Native, Amanda enjoys hiking, yoga, and spending time with her family