Summer is a time of family fun, baseball gloves, state fairs, great food, laughter, splashing in a local pool and trying desperately to find the balance between work and life. If you’re trying to figure out how to keep the quality of your family life fun and amazing while handling the responsibilities of your job, here are a few time-tested tips to help you out.
Tip #1: Communication Is the Key
One of the biggest struggles with finding a good summertime work-life balance is a lack of communication among family and friends. If those around you don’t know what your struggles are, they can do little to help you. While you don’t have to share absolutely everything with friends or even your children, letting them know a few things here and there helps them realize the extent of what is needed. One option is to have a communal calendar in your home that people can add information to. Another idea is to have a daily meeting with everyone over a meal. Remember, though, that communication is a two-way street. Make sure you listen just as much if not more than you speak.
Tip #2: Re-evaluate Your Priorities
Summer is a season filled with so many different things. Activities for the kids, long work hours, romantic evenings with your spouse, baseball practice, swimming lessons, music practice… it’s enough to make your head spin. Here’s the thing to remember, though. The more stuff you have going on, the less likely you are to devote your full attention to any of it. So this summer, try sitting down with your family and figuring out what is really important to everyone. You’ll be surprised at what may be given a lower priority. And remember, you’re looking at quality over quantity, so don’t be afraid of being creative with your finances. It could be that those long hours at work and that extra hundred dollars a week are causing more heartache than they’re worth.
Tip #3: Every So Often Forget the Schedule
Let’s face it — life happens, and during the summer it happens quite a lot. Don’t be afraid of throwing your well-planned schedule of events out the window for a break every once in a while. Don’t be afraid of adapting yourself and your family to the situation. If tee-ball practice runs late, be flexible enough to cheer them on and have a late dinner.
Tip # 4: Make Use of Your Support System
Both your family and your co-workers are there, in theory, to help you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. These can be simple things such as having the kids set the table for dinner, or asking your co-worker to remind you to take a break during a stressful work day. Just make sure that you let them know how much you appreciate their help. After all, you do, right?
What are some tips that you’ve used in the past to find a great work-life balance? Please share them in the comments section below!