No matter what time of year it is, it can be hard to manage your work and home life. Raise your hand if you’ve ever checked your email or work phone after work hours. Do you think about work before you go to bed? Are you supposed to be on vacation but still check in with work? We’ve all been there. As I’m headed home from a long week of moving, I got to talking to a woman seated next to me on the flight. She said that she was going to try to limit checking her email and work phone to once or twice a day. It got me thinking, is it still a vacation if you check in with work? If something pops up that needs to be addressed, I’d be willing to guess that you would jump in and take charge. While it’s almost impossible to completely turn off work mode, we should try. Studies and statistics have shown that many habits of the U.S. worker are being avoided at all costs by workers in other countries. In the long-run, extreme stress, low sleep, and poor diet will increase your risk of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and many more. Oh, and don’t forget these factors can also shorten your life span. On that happy note, I think we can all agree to end 2017 with a little less stress and a little more rest. If you can’t do it during the holidays, when can you do it.
You may be thinking to yourself, “Okay sounds great…but I work from home and can’t really take off.” Or, you may be saying to yourself, “Easily said and done for someone who is not an entrepreneur.” Working moms and mom entrepreneur especially have this problem. You need to be doing a million places at once, in order to get even a quarter of your to-do list done, no matter if that to-do list is work related or home related.These thoughts and concerns are all valid point, you may think it’s impossible to completely stop working during the holidays, even temporarily. Well, you’re wrong. You should get that thought out of your mind. You can at the very least limit work to refocus on what matters during the holidays. To help you, we’re bringing you our top 6 Tips to Balance Your Work — Home Life. This isn’t just for mompreneurs, it’s for everyone!
6 Tips to Balance Your Work — Home Life — Limit Your Hours.
While you may not be able to completely take off one day during the holidays, you can limit your hours. Yes, even mompreneur, home-based workers, and work-from-home entrepreneurs and afford to limit their hours during the holidays. If you usually work a ten or twelve-hour day, try limiting it to a five or six-hour day. Seems impossible? It’s not. Just do it. Plan ahead to limit your hours and inform your employees and coworkers. Everyone will understand. You’re still working, just not as much so you can enjoy life. There’s no harm in this, and you need to remember that if you plan on living a long and prosperous life.
6 Tips to Balance Your Work — Home Life — Tell Your Friends and Family Your Work Hours.
Now, you don’t want to completely blow off everything during the holidays. That’s not good for anyone. The best way to do this is to limit distractions. This can be particularly hard if you’re a home-based business owner or employee. You work from home and everyone is home for the holiday. Impromptu visits and outings are to be expected. However, you can limit the temptations to ditch your workload by informing your friends and family when you’ll be working over the holidays. If people know a head of time when you’re working, they won’t bother you until that time. They’ll wait until you’re on a break and can enjoy your free time.
6 Tips to Balance Your Work — Home Life — Plan Play Dates.
With the kids home from school and relatives in town, it can be tough to limit distractions. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some peace and quiet at home to have a few hours to power through a bunch of work? Of course, it would be! Well you can make that happen for yourself. Send your kids on playdates with their friends. Or, better yet, send them out to enjoy some of the local holiday festivities for a few hours. You can send them to the movies, museums, anything at all! Ideally, pick something you don’t want to do yourself. You can even send your dog on a playdate if there is a threat of constant barking. This does two things. It gives you time to get through some work so you’re less stress, and it gives you motivation to focus on work so you can rejoin the family outing or to take a nap, which is more appealing for you.
6 Tips to Balance Your Work — Home Life — Turn Off Your Phone During Your Off Hours.
When you’re not working, make sure you actually don’t work. That means, if you can, leave your cell phone behind. If you can’t leave it behind, turn off the notification on the apps you use for work. They will be there for you when you pick up the next day. You may love this idea, but can’t commit to it for fear an emergency will happen. Fair enough, everyone’s life and job is different. However, try this. If you put your phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ your phone’s ringer will go off if the same number calls you two times in a row. If you plan on doing this, just let whoever could call you with an emergency know this. You get the best of both worlds — you can relax with friends and family and have the peace of mind that no one is trying to get ahold of you with an emergency.
6 Tips to Balance Your Work — Home Life — Be Realistic with Your Workload.
It can be tempting to use the holidays as one big work time. Less communication from work means more focus time. However, be realistic on what you plan and hope to get done. Is it a good idea to say you’ll get five or six projects done during the holidays and be able to work 60-hour work weeks with ease? Probably not. You’re just asking to be more stressed out. Plan ahead with the idea that you can only work a maximum of five or six hours a day. From there, take a look at your work load. What needs to be done as soon as possible? What can be held off on until after the holidays? Try to catch up on busy work and outline projects for the first of the year. This is a less stressful task, but will help you feel ahead on your work and excited and ready for the new year. You’ll feel excited to go back to work because you knocked some items off your to-do list, but can focus on bigger things you already got a mini start on over the holidays.
6 Tips to Balance Your Work — Home Life — Enjoy the Moment.
Do you ever get annoyed by people who are always on their phone? Have you seen movies or TV shows where parents and friends are always missing out on the little moments that matter because they’re too busy working? Are you ashamed you’ve become that type of person? Don’t be ashamed of it. It’s great to work hard. You’re a leader who is setting a good example. Just don’t take that example to the extreme and make it a bad thing. Remember that the holidays only come once a year. Work happens all year round. Do you want your family to be looking through photos of holidays from years past and wonder where you are? What’s worse is when you realize that you were too busy working to sit through a whole family dinner or a kid’s Christmas recital. Keep this in mind as we head further into the holidays. You miss out on a lot more than you think you do if you’re always working. Keep times like family movie night, family dinners, and holiday traditions and parties a ‘no work zone’. Will you coworkers, employees or bosses remember you answered their email within 15 minutes of it being sent during the Christmas dinner time or the first night of Hanukkah? Probably not, maybe, but it will only do so much good. What it will do is upset your family and friends that they can’t get your undivided attention for a few hours. Remember that. You can’t get these moments back, they don’t last forever. Life is uncertain so enjoy the moment while you can.