Work and Home Balance (How To)

By Nan Nan Liu-Maffetone | Strong Female Leaders | Target Audience: work at home mommies, work at home parents

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if you aren't living the life you want, how successful are you anyway?
How to achieve work and home balance?
We all want to achieve work home life balance, especially during COVID-19, when many of us work from home. Despite the flexible schedule we now have and the time that we save on commute, we often find ourselves working even more than before. No matter how workplaces expound on the importance of having work and home balance, it is attaibable only when you, the individual, intentionally focus on achieving it.

According to a survey conducted by the Harvard Business Review, of the 4,000 executives interviewed, the most successful leaders make a conscious effort to manage, prioritize and maximize their time. This leads us to believe that achieving work and home balance is highly possible, if you put forth the same effort. In fact, you might even find yourself working less, becoming more productive, having stronger relationships, and living a more fulfilled life.

So how do you balance work and home life successfully? Start with the following steps:
1) Change your mindset.
You will not reach a career high by working yourself to death. While you can afford to put in extra hours in the office when you are young, eventually your growing family and aging parents will need more of your time. Even if you are young, single and full of fresh energy, start valuing your personal time by adopting the idea that you are not defined by just your career but also by your family and communities.

If it helps, list all the people outside of work who deserve your time, like your spouse, kids and close relatives. They are the ones who will be there when you have long retired from the industry. Prioritize them first.
2) Redefine success.
Just like leading a project, leading your life requires defining what a successful end result looks like. If you see your future with harmonious work-life balance filled with meaningful relationships, you will strive to achieve it. When obligations collide, you will make the choice that leads you closer to the end goal.

Women, and especially high achieving women, want to be everything to everyone, and the best in all of the areas in their lives. However, that is not feasible, is it. Somewhere along the road, they suffer the emotional guilt of either not getting far enough in their careers or missing out on their kids' growing up. But if they could re-adjust how they see success, stop trying to be the best, and just be, they might find enough time to get work done, show up for their kids, and even enough time to enjoy a glass of wine.
3) Evaluate your current schedule.
Start by tracking how you spend your time for one week. Create separate lists for work and personal time.

At work, identify your "engineer" and "manager" times. "Engineer" time is when you are the most focused. For many people, it is in the mornings but does not have to be. When you have found it, try to schedule productivity-oriented tasks for that time frame. Examples include generating reports, creating proposals, and writing code. Basically, anything that shows definitive progress. Then, fill up the rest of your day, the "manager" time, with socially-oriented tasks, like meetings, conversations and emails.

For your list at home, start by writing down the most important people in your life. When you are done, top it off with the most valuable player: you. Each week, schedule uninterrupted time blocks with each of them.
4) Be technology free.
When spending time with the important people in your life, be truly present by managing technology properly. Do reserve periods for emails, social feeds and online communication as needed. When you are finished, though, turn everything off.
5) Instill a work and home balance mentality within your team.
Whether you are an individual contributor or a team leader, you can change the work place culture. If someone has family obligations, be understanding, step in and help, and cut them some slack. Be the change agent who brings kindness, calm and confidence to the workplace. Over time, your positive influence will spread.
6) Share the vision with your personal team.
The vision you have for a balanced work and life should be shared with everyone at home. Having family support can be one of the biggest contributors to professional success. When you share the big picture, you also make everyone feel like they are a part of something greater. When people are emotionally invested in the same vision, they will do anything to make it happen.
7) Be well rounded.
While you might work extra hours because you actually enjoy it, please still leave room for other areas in life. Being so immersed in work that there isn’t anything else takes a toll on the body and mind. Taking measures to destress, recharge and enjoy other aspects of life like hobbies and family enhances productivity in the long run.
Parting Thoughts
Success should be how you define it. Some define it by their net worth; some define it by achievements and recognition; and some define it by having meaningful relationships. Regardless of how you define success, it is a part of the life that you design. And if you aren't living the life you want, how successful are you anyway?

Need more help? The books below are good resources.
1) The Lazy Genius Way: Embrace What Matters, Ditch What Doesn't, and Get Stuff Done


2) Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life
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[ Disclaimer: this article includes affiliate links.]

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