Stop Juggling, Learn to Balance: How the American Worker Can Do It All

Wednesday, September 6, 2017, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

In an ideal world, everyone would come home from work and ignore work calls, work emails, and anything else related to work. It can wait till tomorrow, right?

Unfortunately, this would result in most people getting fired. It can be difficult to remember that we don’t live to work, but it’s not always as simple as only working to live.

Depending on the type of job you have and how much you enjoy it, your business and personal lives can easily become entangled.

Taking a few steps back and refocusing on what matters to you most can help. However, coming up with a solution is not only a personal preference; your type of lifestyle can tremendously influence your limitations and preferences for work/life balance.

The American workforce is a melting pot of different careers and lifestyles, and general tips are hardly sufficient to bring balance to your life. Here are some inexpensive and free tips for entrepreneurs, working parents, and young people to develop and maintain balance.

  • Entrepreneur

    Balancing your time while building or operating a company comes with its own demands. You get to be your own boss, but that means you are responsible for your company. At. All. Times. Still, you are human and you deserve to have time for yourself and your family, away from work. Here are some tips that can help you regain control of your personal time.

  • Write it in pen

    You live and breathe scheduling. At work, it’s meetings and conference calls. A scheduled lunch. Maybe even scheduled bathroom breaks. Use this tool for your personal life as well. Schedule time for your family and friends and give them the attention you would give a work obligation.

  • Your full attention, please

    If you are starting your own company, it might be impossible to unplug completely after work. Maybe your work needs to come home with you sometimes. This is a necessary sacrifice that comes with being an entrepreneur, but take whatever time you can to put your phone away, especially meals.

  • What matters most

    Learning to prioritize the different items in your life is important. Take a moment to read articles specifically for entrepreneurs on how to build a work-life balance. Make lists of what you want to do in your spare time, who you want to spend it with, and work to achieve those goals.

  • Working Parent

    Being a parent is a job on its own, and more likely than not, one that is harder than the job you get paid to do.

    Feeding your family and spending quality time with them can seem impossible at times, but here are some tips that will hopefully help.

    • Happy parents, happy kids

      It is important to have time off from both of these jobs every so often. Remember, you will take better care of your kids if you take care of yourself.

      If you have a partner, take turns taking some personal time. One watches the kids, the other takes a bath, meets up with a friend, goes to the gym, whatever they like. Switch. Taking time for yourself is an important stress reliever and will help everyone be happier.

      Date nights are also important if you have a partner. Spending time on your relationship with your partner will strengthen your relationship and improve your mood.

      If you don’t have a partner, ask a parent or close friend to watch your kids for a little bit. They will be happy to spend some bonding time with your kids, and it won’t break the bank. If you have the extra money, a babysitter is also a good option.

    • The little engine that could

      Bring together a family, that is. If you tend to run late, car rides can be stressful.

      If your kids fight too much, car rides can be stressful. If your kids sing along to kid tunes, that can just be annoying. However, you can turn car rides into quality time with your kids.

      Play an audio-book that you listen to when you are all together. They can be expensive, but most libraries have a wide selection of them available.

      Podcasts can also turn an ordinary car ride into bonding time. Take advantage of this and find a podcast for your kids that you will enjoy, too.

      This will not only make for quieter kids, but it will give you something to bond over, especially if you can find something that everyone enjoys (or you can take turns picking since this can be an impossible feat).

    • The family who eats together

      Sometimes it can be hard to find time to have family meals when there are many activities to go to. Depending on how old your kids are, this can be done differently.

      If you have younger kids, then make electronics unwelcome for all (or some) mealtimes. You can also play verbal games, such as trivia, or ask about each other’s days.

      Having older kids might be trickier, depending on their level of independence (and probably their attitude). It can be harder to have quality meals together, but try to make dinner a family activity, and put the phones away.

      If your children no longer live with you but live close by, schedule in a mealtime with them. Whether it’s biweekly, weekly, bimonthly, or even monthly, it’ll be nice to have that guaranteed time with them.

    • Young Workers

      You just graduated, you are ready to make something of yourself, you want to work hard and earn your future.

      Transitioning from being a student to becoming an adult is hard, and there is a lot of pressure; you want to make your parents proud and prove to everyone that you can do it. Here are some tips to make your first few years of actual adulthood a little easier.

    • Healthy mind, healthy body, healthy wallet

      Whether you are used to being an adult by now or not, there are constant stressors that can mess with your mental and physical health. Neglecting one can often damage the other.

      If you find yourself neglecting your body, it can amount to big costs in the future. Preventative health measures can be a vital investment, both financially and physically.

      You can work on this by remembering to take time for yourself. For your mind, be active, get outside, bake, watch your favorite show on Netflix, take breaks; for your body, go to the gym, run before work, walk your dog. Even 30 minutes to an hour of exercise each day can make a vital difference in your health.

      Creating a relaxing home environment will allow you to decompress after a stressful day at work.

      Being mindful of what you put in your body can also make a difference. You don’t need to go on a diet, but be aware of the foods you eat. Read ingredient lists, make your own food when you can. Splurging is fine in moderation, but be honest with yourself about how healthy you feel.

      Just as you need to keep both your mental and physical health in shape to be healthy, your financial health needs upkeep, too.

      Taking the time to learn about your credit, credit cards, and how to maintain healthy budget can influence your ability to buy larger investments such as a car or a house.

      Prepare for the future a little at a time; it will be less stressful than having to figure it out all at once down the road.

    • Call for backup

      I know, you’ve been helped all your life and you are ready to do it on your own. You have some pride after all. However, don’t expect to become a fully independent adult overnight.

      Parents/close family/friends will be happy to help. Whether it is small help, like dinner, or bigger help, like living with parents or borrowing money, don’t worry. As long as you are trying and working toward your independence, you will get where you need to be.

    • Wasting youth on the young

      It can be easy to focus on the future, and while that is important, it is also important to live in the moment. Likely, you don’t have as many responsibilities as you will later in life. Take advantage of that. Travel, learn a new skill, explore yourself, and be yourself.

      Many people regret stressing through their younger years and taking life too seriously. Don’t be one of them. Learn to say no at work, don’t let your time be taken up by work after hours, find a job that allows you to enjoy life. Of course, remain respectful and don’t neglect your job, but be mindful and cautious of jobs that may not be worth the stress.

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