7 tips for a better work-life balance

Tyron Cosway
21st June 2018 in Know How

Mums and Dads out there are all too familiar with the dilemma: children, jobs, household, friends, hobbies – it’s a juggling act worthy of the main event the next time the circus is in town. How do you stay afloat with the seemingly impossible? Is this sustainable?

Between a 40-hour work week, a never-ending list of to-dos around the house and a lawn that seemingly needs to be mowed every second day in the summer…wouldn’t it be great if you could spend the same amount of time socialising with friends and family as you do on chores? It’s wishful thinking, we know. We’d all love to spend time doing things we want to do rather than things we have to, but that’s a dream far too rarely lived out.

Well, we’re all about a good work-life balance in the smart homes we create so we wanted to share some tips with you in the hope you can start spending more time with your family. We’ve listed 7 such tips to help you save time and aim for the optimal work-life balance…

Tip 1: Plan family-only time

Day-to-day life can be quite stressful and due to that – more often than not – the most important things in life suffer and the result is, that there is not really any time left to be spent with loved ones.

To make sure that there is enough family time in your life you could decide on a fixed day and time for a special ‘family evening’ or ‘family gathering’ to spend quality time together. For example every Friday evening or every Wednesday from 5 to 8 pm. That could be the time where you focus on your family life, leave your work at your desk, resist the urge to check your phones or other distractions in another room and just have a good old-fashioned night in with endless chatter and laughter.

Tip 1: Plan family-only time

Day-to-day life can be quite stressful and due to that – more often than not – the most important things in life suffer and the result is, that there is not really any time left to be spent with loved ones.

To make sure that there is enough family time in your life you could decide on a fixed day and time for a special ‘family evening’ or ‘family gathering’ to spend quality time together. For example every Friday evening or every Wednesday from 5 to 8 pm. That could be the time where you focus on your family life, leave your work at your desk, resist the urge to check your phones or other distractions in another room and just have a good old-fashioned night in with endless chatter and laughter.

Tip 2: Work together

No truer is the saying ‘many hands make light work’… So, get help from your kids and your partner while cleaning or doing chores. Hardly anyone enjoys completing these tasks but by pulling together there is an end in sight and you can get there quicker. Once these boring chores are completed, you’ll all have more time for the fun stuff – for example for an adventurous trip (even if it’s just to the park for a picnic).

Tip 2: Work together

No truer is the saying ‘many hands make light work’… So, get help from your kids and your partner while cleaning or doing chores. Hardly anyone enjoys completing these tasks but by pulling together there is an end in sight and you can get there quicker. Once these boring chores are completed, you’ll all have more time for the fun stuff – for example for an adventurous trip (even if it’s just to the park for a picnic).

Tip 3: Digital breaks

There is no denying that laptops and smartphones play an important role in our lives – be it as a source of entertainment or being an important business tool – but they also use up quite a large amount of our time. Being constantly reachable via our mobile phone makes it difficult to relax and not think about work. A recent study found that the average Brit checks their phone 26 times a day… Unfortunately, you’d probably find yourself on your phone the next time your child or partner is trying to talk to you – or vice versa. That’s obviously not healthy. Put ‘digital breaks’ in place for your children for 1-2 hours a day. Pop a basket on the table for everyone’s phones to go into then make sure to use that time together as a family for something fun so that it doesn’t feel like a punishment.

Tip 3: Digital breaks

There is no denying that laptops and smartphones play an important role in our lives – be it as a source of entertainment or being an important business tool – but they also use up quite a large amount of our time. Being constantly reachable via our mobile phone makes it difficult to relax and not think about work. A recent study found that the average Brit checks their phone 26 times a day… Unfortunately, you’d probably find yourself on your phone the next time your child or partner is trying to talk to you – or vice versa. That’s obviously not healthy. Put ‘digital breaks’ in place for your children for 1-2 hours a day. Pop a basket on the table for everyone’s phones to go into then make sure to use that time together as a family for something fun so that it doesn’t feel like a punishment.

Tip 4: Plan your week ahead

Personal development pioneer Paul J. Meyer was on the money when he said: “Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort.”. The most efficient time management can be achieved by planning your week ahead. This could include making time for your hobbies when your children aren’t at home. For example, go for a run when your children are at football practice or schedule coffee with friends when your child is at a friend’s house. Then, when your children are at home, you can take part in activities as a family – whether it’s having a barbeque or just planting some flowers in the garden together.

Tip 4: Plan your week ahead

Personal development pioneer Paul J Meyer was on the money when he said: “Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort.”. The most efficient time management can be achieved by planning your week ahead. This could include making time for your hobbies when your children aren’t at home. For example, go for a run when your children are at football practice or schedule coffee with friends when your child is at a friend’s house. Then, when your children are at home, you can take part in activities as a family – whether it’s having a barbeque or just planting some flowers in the garden together.

Tip 5: Don’t seek out perfectionism

Always striving for more or to be better? Is it completely necessary to want to get that extra 20% when you’ve already got 80%? It’s easy to have that continuous go-getter mindset at work and when it comes to encouraging the kids with their school grades. Yes, good grades are important – but don’t let your drive for absolute perfectionism come at the cost of quality time with your family. To quote an all-to-familiar lyric “Let it go, let it go…”. Finish your presentation for work once it’s good – not everything has to be overwhelmingly perfect. Be satisfied when you’re children have done well, they don’t always have to be top-of-the-class for everything.

It is good to encourage and pursue excellence, and setting clear expectations early on will help instil that – but don’t let it come at a cost of the value of family. Remember, homework isn’t the only driver for success, the International Journal of Secondary Education found children perform better when they have emotional and material support from their family so being together as a family might prove more beneficial than that extra hour in isolation doing homework.

Tip 5: Don’t seek out perfectionism

Always striving for more or to be better? Is it completely necessary to want to get that extra 20% when you’ve already got 80%? It’s easy to have that continuous go-getter mindset at work and when it comes to encouraging the kids with their school grades. Yes, good grades are important – but don’t let your drive for absolute perfectionism come at the cost of quality time with your family. To quote an all-to-familiar lyric “Let it go, let it go…”. Finish your presentation for work once it’s good – not everything has to be overwhelmingly perfect. Be satisfied when you’re children have done well, they don’t always have to be top-of-the-class for everything.

It is good to encourage and pursue excellence, and setting clear expectations early on will help instil that – but don’t let it come at a cost of the value of family. Remember, homework isn’t the only driver for success, the International Journal of Secondary Education found children perform better when they have emotional and material support from their family so being together as a family might prove more beneficial than that extra hour in isolation doing homework.

Tip 6: Let your home take care of tasks

Believe it or not, you could probably leave a lot of tasks to your home to take care of for you. 😉

Whether it’s mundane or just day-to-day tasks that you find taking up your time, living in an intelligently automated home would make the world of difference. Tasks related to safety, comfort and energy-efficiency can quickly add up, like having to manually go from room to room to check that all the windows are closed before you head out. A Real Smart Home from Loxone does this and many other tasks for you so that you can spend time on the more important things in life.

Tip 6: Let your home take care of tasks

Believe it or not, you could probably leave a lot of tasks to your home to take care of for you. 😉

Whether it’s mundane or just day-to-day tasks that you find taking up your time, living in an intelligently automated home would make the world of difference. Tasks related to safety, comfort and energy-efficiency can quickly add up, like having to manually go from room to room to check that all the windows are closed before you head out. A Real Smart Home from Loxone does this and many other tasks for you so that you can spend time on the more important things in life.

Tip 7: Turn chores into family time

Unless you have a penchant for doing all the cleaning and chores yourself, why not use those annoying household duties to your advantage. The next time you’re preparing a Sunday roast, see that task of peeling potatoes as a great opportunity to catch up with your son or daughter for a long-overdue chat. Identify opportunities where you could work together as a family to introduce more conversation with your loved ones into your daily routine.

Tip 7: Turn chores into family time

Unless you have a penchant for doing all the cleaning and chores yourself, why not use those annoying household duties to your advantage. The next time you’re preparing a Sunday roast, see that task of peeling potatoes as a great opportunity to catch up with your son or daughter for a long-overdue chat. Identify opportunities where you could work together as a family to introduce more conversation with your loved ones into your daily routine.

Ready to get your time back?

Give our tips a whirl and try to maximise your family time. Keen to find out more about Tip #6? Then why don’t you and your family come to one of our free Smart Home Info Sessions? You’ll be able to experience Real Smart Home features and discover how you’ll have the time to spend doing things you actually want to do. Find a suitable date and book your place.