Balance can be so difficult to find for busy parents! As a blogger who has been trying to both maintain and build my site while also leaving plenty of time for family and family commitments, it has become an especially difficult balance lately.
This is especially ironic because everyone kept asking me what I was going to do with all of my spare time once we moved from homeschooling our kids to them going to school. I’m still wondering where that supposed spare time went. I’m going to share some of the things that I’ve been doing to try to strike that balance and enjoy both time to work and time for my family.
Before I start, however, I wanted to be sure you make your way to the bottom of this post to have a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!
Tips for Meeting Goals While Balancing Work and Family Life
Make a Plan for Your Days/Weeks
If you don’t have a plan, you won’t really know where you’re going or what you’re doing. Whether you have an elaborate planner filled with hourly tasks or a quickly written sticky note featuring your tops tasks to do for the day, a plan will help keep you moving forward.
On weeks where I don’t take the time to write out tasks that I need to get done, I am not nearly as productive. However, when I take time on Sunday night to write out a list of things to tackle for the week, I have a plan and I know what to do.
This Sunday night planning time makes the largest difference in my level of productivity for the week. Try to adopt a time to plan each night or each week as well! For the record, my plan is (hopefully) written each week in a simple Bullet Journal. I don’t go for fancy. I just want efficiency and a plan.
Plan for Downtime
I know that this probably sounds crazy as a starting point. However, I try to start almost every day after school drop offs for some downtime. This helps me get in a mindset to work later, as well as a chance to relax for a while. Maybe that’s not the best way for you to start your day, but I urge you to find downtime each day or at least every few days. If you’re worn down and too stressed, you’ll be useless to your family and your work.
Set Specific Times for Work
If you find that you have difficulty getting to work, set specific hours where you will get work tasks done. Even if your kids are home all day, you might be able to hire help to come in for a few hours a week or arrange for your spouse to take care of all kid-related responsibilities at specific times each day or week.
For me, I have a general time each day when I know that it’s time to be done playing around on the computer, listening to music, or whatever other downtime activity I’m doing. Once that time rolls around, I know it’s time to get to work. In the past, when my kids were home all day, I often had those kinds of dedicated times after the kids all went to bed or in the afternoon once school was done.
Find Work Areas that Work for You
I have found that there are places that encourage me to work more efficiently than others. For example, while I love to pop my feet up on my couch and sit with my computer on my lap, my productivity goes down. However, when I do something like walk on the treadmill while I’m working or sit in my screened in porch to work, I stay more focused.
Find your areas that are more conducive to productivity and make sure that you spend some time in those, whether it’s a special spot in your house or the neighborhood coffee shop.
Make Family Time a Priority
While finding time for work is important, finding time for family is even more important. Once my kids went back to school, I decided that I wanted to keep as much of my working time as possible for times when they were at school or asleep. This shift in focus really changed our family life.
Sure, I’m still guilty of reading emails in between helping with homework, but it also meant that I didn’t feel so stressed about driving them to extra-curriculars, attending games and performances, or just having time for fun with them. I realized that success wasn’t always about making more money or having more readers. Sometimes success is following my plan to make family a priority during evenings and weekend when everyone is home.
Make Meal Time Filling but Easy
If you are having a solo meal (or more than one) each day, you might be tempted to skip meals or just grab something through a drive thru. Or, perhaps you don’t feel like making yourself lunch and then try to convince yourself that a couple of handfuls of jellybeans makes a perfectly balanced meal. Oh, that’s just me?
When my kids started going to school, it meant that I was having lunch on my own each day. This was definitely a hard transition after homeschooling for seven years. Even before we were homeschooling, our youngest was still at home. So, I hadn’t had to worry about making lunch for only myself since before I became a mom 17 years ago!
While I had plenty of drive thru and jellybean lunches toward the beginning of the school year, I realized that if I actually wanted to get work done, I was going to need to be smarter about what I was eating for lunch. I needed meals that were quick to pull together, easy to eat while I worked, and generally meals that were warm, though nutrient-rich superfood smoothies will always have a special place in my lunch routine.
When I started making balanced lunches, I found that I worked better in the afternoon, didn’t have such a desire to take a nap, and had an easier time not snacking.
A Quick and Easy Lunch Option
A new-to-me option that fits that quick to prepare, warm option are the pretzel bread crust varieties of Lean Pockets, which includes White Meat Chicken Jalapeno & Cheese and Roasted Turkey Bacon & Cheese. Both of these options contain no artificial flavors. They are good sources of protein and contain 100% real cheese, which makes Lean Pockets warm and gooey (but not so gooey that I couldn’t work while I was eating – score!).
Working on my porch, while enjoying a Roasted Turkey Bacon & Cheese with Pretzel Crust Lean Pocket, a side of fresh fruit, and some water makes for a perfect lunchtime work time.
Lean Pockets are a budget-friendly, quick meal option to help you get back to work in no time. Lean Pockets offers many varieties and they’re available in the freezer section at Target, Walmart, and most local grocery stores, with a suggested price of $2.29 – $2.49 per box (which includes two servings).
About that $100 Visa gift card that I mentioned earlier in the post
I would love to hear some of the things that you do to help balance work and family time! Even if you’re not a blogger, I’m always looking for more great ideas. So, please share in the comments for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card: What are strategies or tools that you use that help you make family a priority while also getting done work or other tasks that you need to do?
Don’t forget to Click here for a $1 coupon from Coupons.com
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 8/15/2016 – 10/15/2016
LEAN POCKETS® is a registered trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.
Join 27,000+ Other Awesome People
Subscribe to the Real Life at Home weekly newsletter to get our latest content, exclusive free printables, learning activities, and ideas for celebrating with your kids all year