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?