Work-life balance: squeeze more time into your day!

Life on grass

Life on grassAs parents, we can find ourselves constantly juggling home and work and trying to get the balance right. Whether you work in the home or out of it, having key routines in place and using your time as effectively as possible is essential.

Follow these five steps for a better balance and a less stressful life!

1.    Identify what needs to change

Over the course of a week keep a log of everything you do, when you do it and how long it takes you. This will help you draw up a daily routine that better encompasses everything that needs doing and gives you ample time to complete everything.
Completing a log will also help you identify any areas in which you waste time, or could use time more effectively.

2.    Organise your routine

Recognise key times throughout the day that could benefit from rearranging.  The best example for many of us is morning-time, which is often rushed with lots to fit into a short time slot.
Preparation is key to managing these times more effectively. For example, help organise your morning routine by preparing things the night before. Set out uniforms, make packed lunches, put out the breakfast dishes and organise PE kits. Have shoes, bags and keys within easy reach and enjoy a much less stressful morning!
Keep a diary or use a calendar that can be used to record everyday routines, such as afterschool clubs as well as parties, play dates and appointments. Having this information close at hand ensures nothing is forgotten and everything can be prepared for.

3.    Save time around the home

Devise several weeks’ worth of meal plans which can be rotated, along with a list of basic ingredients you will need. Using this to do a weekly grocery shop will save a lot of time, which can be better spent elsewhere. Also consider having your food shopping delivered.
Batch cooking and freezing meals is a great way of ensuring you have healthy food at hand that can be defrosted and quickly prepared.
Delegate tasks to other members of the family where possible, even the smallest children can do their bit by tidying toys away. Older children and partners can do a variety of chores around the home and even in the garden.

4.    Multi-task

Use your time as effectively as possible by doing more than one thing at a time.  Some examples to get you going: make calls when you iron, read work notes or organise your diary when on the train, listen to audio books in the car or even when in the bath.

5.    Organise your home

Declutter your home and ensure everything has a place. Rearrange key areas to make them more efficient and reduce the time spent looking for lost items.

The kitchen is often a dumping ground so make sure everyone in the family removes their belongings and puts them in the correct place

Move things around in the kitchen and have everything to hand when cooking. This also applies to the bathroom; have a basket or box for each family member for their own toiletries. This will keep the bathroom tidy and will make it easier to identify in advance when something needs replacing, so you’ll also avoid last minute shopping trips.

Have a set place for household paperwork and take time each day to tackle incoming bills and correspondence, add items to the diary and get rid of junk mail.

Give it a go! By reorganising your home and managing your time more effectively you can have a better work-life balance and more free time to enjoy.

What are your top tips for achieving a work-life balance? Email us on [email protected] with ‘Work-life balance’ in the subject line.