Do you have a lot of commitments and responsibilities that seem to get in the way of having a good work-life balance and being able to spend time with your family? If so, you’re not alone, but that doesn’t make it all, and it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything about it.
In fact, learning how to make time for family life is a skill that, once you’ve mastered it, you’ll always be able to put to good effect. With that in mind, here are some tips on the kinds of things you can do to make time for family life more often.
One thing that can really help is to set priorities. You’ll have work to do, of course, but apart from work, what is it you need or want to do? Perhaps it’s your anniversary, and you want to go for a couples massage to celebrate. Maybe you have a play or recital to watch at your child’s school. Perhaps a loved one is unwell, and you want to go and visit them.
It could be anything, and what it is isn’t the point; the fact that you need or want to do something is what counts. Once you have something in mind, you’ll need to make it the priority of the day so that nothing else gets in the way. If it means leaving work early (and perhaps finishing it the next day), that’s what you’ll have to do, and if it means saying no to someone, that has to be something you’re willing to do too – your important appointment has to be put first.
Plan Days Out
Sometimes the issue is that although you want to have more family time, you don’t really know what to do when you get it, and sometimes you just think you’d be better off at work, being productive. Again, that’s not unusual, but it is a feeling you can stop, and the answer is to plan family days out.
If you book a day out somewhere in advance, not only will that become your priority, but you’ll also know exactly what you’re doing, so you’ll be able to feel better about needing to clear your schedule. And you don’t even have to go out somewhere – you can plan a day in instead, and whether that’s a movie marathon, arts and crafts, gaming, or just hanging out, if it’s in the schedule, you’re more likely to do it.
The call of work is always there, especially if you work from home. Even if you don’t, though, the fact that we’re contactable at all times, even when we’re not at work, does mean that it’s easy to split into a work mindset and read your emails or respond to requests when you should be doing something else.
There is such a simple solution to this, although it might be hard to do at first; unplug. Switch off your laptop, your tablet, and your phone, and just be with your family. This is your time, not the boss’s and not your customers, so don’t waste it with them and enjoy it with your family instead.
Got Something to Add?
Let us know how you make more time as a family in the comments below. Until next time, thanks for reading.
Helen, Nial, Lewis and Mason.