It is fantastic to come up with a plan to balance work and home. This article is the first of a series on balancing home and work. Future articles will cover:
- balancing work vacations and school schedules
- office networking vs family time
- changing priorities
- making each side feel special
As a work-at-home mother, I am uniquely aware of the struggle involved in trying to balance work and home. We must work in order to earn a living and at the same time, we must spend time with our families because that is where our hearts lie. That is the reason for this series, to show that we can balance work and home and emerge happily on the other side. In order to do that, we must use careful planning strategies.
It seems that I have written tens of articles over the past several months where I reference the old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” The reason that saying keeps coming up in my articles is that it is true. I am sure many people will read this and say that they never make plans and yet they always grow prize-winning roses. However, one of the realities of life is that you must plan your garden if you want things to come up roses.
If you are a typical woman you have professional demands and demands at home and only 24 hours in each day. In order to get the most out of those 24 hours, you must have a plan and then work that plan. If you are serious about developing a plan that will allow you to handle work and home in the most efficient way possible, get out your planning tool and start making some appointments.
Some people use those neat Franklin Covey-type planners. Other people are addicted to their smartphones’ calendar programs. I am a tablet device person so that is what I will be using for this exercise. No matter what organizing device you will be using, open it up, and let’s get started:
- block off your normal work hours
- You cannot schedule family obligations during work hours, so mark this time as occupied
- get out the calendar for your children’s school and fill in all the PTA meetings, grade level socials, and school events (by filling in this information, you will not schedule work events during the time you want to be handling family obligations)
- get your spouse’s calendar and add events from that calendar that you must attend
- fill in the calendar spaces for how you will spend each day
- mark off the time you get up
- if you exercise schedule it in the calendar
- add in normal professional tasks for each day
- networking after work events
- professional conferences you should attend
- get-togethers with co-workers to help build relationships
- professional reading/research that should be done
- add in normal personal everyday tasks such as dinner, homework help, laundry, grocery shopping, library, family outings, religious services
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When you have filled in your calendar with all your professional and personal obligations and time schedules look at the calendar carefully. Are there areas of overlap? If yes, something has to be moved or rescheduled do it now. Have you left ample travel time between appointments? If not move things around so that you have sufficient time to travel between events. Your calendar may now be very crowded. Do not get afraid, do not despair.
To read more about work/life balance, check out the following:
Work Life Balance – Learn New Tricks – It is fantastic to know there is always something new to learn in the work-life balance battle. Click here to read more.
Avoid Excess and Learn to Balance Work and Home – I am a woman who works at home and know it is very easy to slip into working during all my waking hours. Click here to read more.
Also, check out our Confidence Tip of the Day YouTube channel for hundreds of videos on creating the confidence you need to succeed.
A grown-up has a busy calendar, a busy life, and lots of obligations. This is a situation you must look at like a grown-up. If the calendar is too full for you to handle, make some changes now and cancel some of our appointments and obligations. You only have 24 hours each day, you cannot do everything, so, show up like a grown-up and make the tough decisions.
Do not try to wing it when it comes to balancing work and home.Look at all your various roles realistically, schedule your obligations, and then plan how to get done needs to get done. Keep in mind, a person riding a unicycle. A unicycle rider is always moving and adjusting, attempting to find and keep balance. That is what you must do, realize that balancing all you must balance is a job that is ever-moving and ever-changing, but it is your life and you can do it, you must do it
In conclusion, it is fantastic to come up with a plan to balance work and home So, the question for you on this fantastic day is how are you going to balance your work and home lives?
56 thoughts on “Balance Work and Home Plan/Fail”
I just read a book that said you should treat your time like money and budget it. I think it was a brilliant idea
I’m awful at planning. It’s even worse with me home full-time now.
Balancing the two – is always a struggle. I always have a hard time too
this is definitely something that I need to work on. At this point in time I don’t have the balance that I should have even though I have started to get that balance , reading this article gives me the encouragement to keep trying. Thank you.
I know what you mean. Working at home and chauffering my kids all over after school I have to plan my day to get it all done.
With three kids at home who all have different after school activities, if I have no plan it is going to be a very bad day. Balance can be a challenge at times, but if you don’t at least try, you will never achieve.
live is so unpredictable balance can be heard. Having the right support is key to keeping life in order
I’m still trying to find the right balance. After 2.5 years, I’m getting closer…but a lot of work to do. Thanks for the tips!
These are some great tips. As a WAHM, I do struggle daily with balancing everything.
I agree, having a plan is a must. Even doing your everyday routine at home, you must have a plan.
I always have a basic plan. But I also know I have to stay flexible!
I am also a work at home mother. Friends often comment about how great that is and jealous they are. What they don’t realize is that it can be difficult in so many ways to not have those physical boundaries between work and home. I had to make a schedule and stick to it closely to avoid working during all of my waking hours.
I am big on having a calendar. I even have one for hubby.
We do this with our calendar. It is the only way I can keep track of everything going on!
I am so thankful that I have the option to stay home with my kids. Trying to balance work and family was so difficult. My hats off to all the working parents who make it work!
I’m one of those people who hates a schedule, but as I start my 6th month of full-time blogging I am realizing more and more that it is ESSENTIAL to make a daily plan, otherwise I get nothing done. – Katy
This is definitely something I struggle with. It is so easy to squeeze in a work item late at night with free time or a personal errand in what should be my work hours.
This is great! I am working on balancing work and home too. It is not easy. But worth.
I am retired now and so it is not as hard to manage. I remember at one point when I was working two jobs and going back for my post graduate degree with two small children. I am a very organized person so that is what got me through it all. The important advice from above is not just the plan but you have to work the plan!
Very good advice! Balancing family and blogging is a crazy mix. I couldn’t imagine trying to balance family and going out to work!
Balance can definitely be tricky. Especially if you work at home and can change your plans at any moment.
Balance is such a tricky thing. It’s great when it’s going well, but one big project and it’s so easy (for me) to fall back off the scale and put too much into something rather than keeping it in the middle.
Gosh great tips. I would have to get back at work after the baby is here and I will really need to re-read it all! bookmarking.
These are some really great and workable ideas for getting organized! I am still trying to find ways to balance it all. I tried keeping lists in the Notes app of my phone, but realized I can’t really stand using my phone. So I have switched to an old fashioned notebook… and am loving it 🙂
I guess insomnia, cheetos, and late night snacks are not part of a healthy work/life balance! #WriterProblems LOL:-)
Need to put that quote in my mind! It’s still quite hard to follow even if I plan cause something always come up and sometimes it can get a bit frustrating LOL! But I know I need to organize my schedule to get my priorities straight.
I have a very hard time balancing work and personal life because I work from home. I am doing a lot better lately by taking off weekends for myself and not answering client emails, and it’s helping with stress a lot!
That is a great suggestion. I really need to take control of my time each day
It’s been hard to balance the two with a new baby in the house. I prioritize what I need to get done during the day and work though it as I have time on the computer. It’s the only way to get things done!
I often feel overwhelmed trying to balance things here. I think I would work more efficiantly if I planned better!
It’s so incredibly hard for me to balance working at home and home life (kids, baby, house work, etc.) – me and some friends were just talking about htis.
To have a productive day I MUST have a plan. I learned this 5 years ago when I had my daughter. I get much more done when I make a list or at least schedule out the things I need and want to do.
I definitely need a way better work/life balance
balancing period is a struggle. STaying home with 5 kids, homeschooling, taking care of our home, etc, blogging. There are days where I want to push some of it to the side and take a break (blogging, homeschooling) that is what we are doing this weekend – family time only 🙂
I definitely need to find a better balance to my days, between blogging, caring for my 11 month old, spending time with my fiance, and doing household chores. Thanks for the great tips!
Finding that balance is very important. It can be challenging for some, but it’s doable. – Jenn @ The Rebel Chick
I can always use more hours in my day. Multitasking is my middle name.
I have a terrible work-life balance. i need to do a better job prioritizing– great post!
Whew – that sounds exhausting, but you’re right! I don’t balance my life very well and definitely rely on my calendar. I seem to be getting better though with my days filling up.
I am really horrible at balancing home with work. Thankfully I can still participate in life and check my emails in between dance and soccer. Unfortunately, it means I don’t have a 9-5, so my job never stops, even on vacations.
Being a work at home mom it’s really had to find balance in my work and personal life. I like the idea of blocking of specific time.
I definitely need to find a balance between blogging and home. It takes up so much of my time that other aspects of my life are lacking! Thank you for this post.
I agree! As a working single mom of 3, life and work balance is very important to me. Great post!
Finding a balance is SO HARD! I am still trying. I loved this article, thanks girl.
Having a plan is super important. Utilizing a calendar is another great tip!
So true. I find that If I do not have a to d list for a certain day, I’m lost!
I work at home from 7:00-5:30 Monday to Friday so those lines are very blurred if they even exist.
Nap time used to be my solace bit now I have 4 under 4 in my dayhome so nap time is a fickle beast.
I hope we can figure our something soon.
There’s only so many hours in a day and I already have 18 hours taken 🙁
I agree that having a plan is essential. I have started planning my blog better lately, and things are going SO much better!
I need to plan a lot better. My schedule is starting to become hectic and I start to forget things. Thanks for these tips!
I use my google calendar like crazy! I wish my hubby could put his work calendar on it. One thing I saw recently made me giggle, “Beyonce only has 24 hours in a day to get it done, too!”
I find that setting work “hours” has been the only way to make working from home doable. This way, my kids understand that I have to work, even if it’s in the next room. When I’m “off” it’s all about them.
My Dad use to always say, “Plan to work, work the plan.” If I plan my day, it is way more productive.
I find that setting aside a specific time to work is helpful. At least in my case. If I know I am supposed to be working, I get more done.
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This is great! I am taking notes. As of right now its easy for me to move things around because I am not married or have kids; and the schedule you describe above sounds scary ….so I think I’ll try and wait a little longer…I just reinvested in the franklin covey system; after this week I thought it might be good to stick to pen and paper; I was able to charge my kindle fire in my car but sometimes it goes to quick 🙁
But it is true adults have busy schedules and sometimes you have to figure out what has to be put off til later. Like you always say put on your big girl panties and dress and do it…because it has to be done.
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