4 Ways to Balance Your Home and Home Office Life

When my older son’s grade school held career day, he told his class all about his dad’s career. When he described me, he said that I didn’t do anything.

I couldn’t believe it.

At first I was hurt, then I realized he answered that way because he rarely saw me work. The only time I worked was when he and his brother were asleep, with a sitter, or at school.

Now that my sons are older and don’t need me as much as they did before — they get better grades when I don’t help them with math — my challenge is to stop working so much. I’ve recommended strategies for balancing home and office life to my clients for years, and now I’m following my own advice.

1. Make regular dates with your family.

Schedule a weekday afternoon or an evening to spend with your family, or designate a weekend night as movie night. My neighbor used to hold “Smith family movie night” on Friday nights, complete with popcorn and candy. The trick is to find a movie everyone wants to see and that’s appropriate.

2. Schedule mini-vacations.

When my family and I went on vacation this summer, I stayed in touch with my clients but still had plenty of time to spend with my family. If it’s too hard to leave your home office for longer than a week, take a three-day or a four-day vacation. When you’re away for less time, it will be easier to get back to work.

3. Find an exercise partner.

Convince a friend or a family member to exercise with you. You could walk or run together, go biking, or work out at the gym. When you partner with someone else you’re more likely to exercise regularly, stay in shape, and enjoy a nice break from work.

4. Be willing to pay for free time.

If you can find someone to take care of the things you don’t like doing and they can do a better job than you anyway, hire them immediately. If you compare how long it will take you to do something vs. the amount of time you can spend with your family, you’ll see that it’s worth paying for free time.

Balancing your home and office life isn’t easy, but a little creativity can make it work.

How do you create a balance between your home office and home life?

Comments

  1. Isn’t it amazing how our kids see us? LOL And other people too. When I was a stay-at-home Mom, all the working moms seemed to think I did nothing too! Like raising a family didn’t count? I like your points about balance. We simply can’t do it all and figuring out how to spend time with our families should be our number one priority.
    Martha Giffen recently posted..Clever Blogging Ideas That WorkMy Profile

    • It really is funny how our kids, family, friends and neighbors see us. I learned a long time ago to ignore it. Raising a family is the hardest job any of us will ever have, but it’s definitely the most rewarding :). It’s not easy to stay balanced every day but you’re right that spending time with our families should top the list.
      Lisa recently posted..4 Ways to Balance Your Home and Home Office LifeMy Profile

  2. We always made EVERY dinner family night. (OK, not Saturday nights, so the kids could go out on dates.) And, kept them with the exception of those days when either parent was out of town on business. But, since (overnight) business trips were limited, we averaged 248 family dinners a year for some 9 years… I think that’s critical for the family AND the development of the child…
    RAAckerman @ Cerebrations.biz recently posted..The Rest of the StoryMy Profile

  3. Ouch..that must have hurt! I think that speaks to also talking to your children openly about what you do. That is part of the balance. I remember having no idea what my Father did, just where he worked until the company had a family day and gave tours. My Dad’s work was demanding and I had a new respect for him after that.
    Taking the time to talk and listen is so vital! Work and home balance can be such a struggle but it’s important to realize its never ‘done’ it’s a balancing act that goes on forever.
    Bonnie recently posted..Spiritual or Religious?My Profile

  4. Haha… Yah, kids! They’re pretty funny! I like your balancing strategy of work and home. I keep saying I gotta schedule that stuff in, yet haven’t. I think I better schedule a time to schedule the time ;-) Thanks, Lisa! You are awesome!

  5. These are all excellent tips for keeping a balance between your family life and your business life. I like tip #3 the best. I think it is so important to have an exercise accountability partner. My husband and I have been using the Wii Fit for three years and we have both lost weight and improved our fitness level. We both hate to face each other with a weight gain!
    Janette Fuller recently posted..Children’s Book Review: Beware Of The Teacher! by Jason BardwellMy Profile

  6. This article makes me laugh because my kids see me the same way. It does hurt my feelings in a way, but I’m also thrilled that I can work without impacting their lives. It just means that we are there for our kids when they need us. That’s the best investment we can ever make! Thanks for another great article Lisa!
    Michelle Edwards recently posted..How to Calculate My Business’ Break Even PointMy Profile

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