People during the COVID-19 have never been busier before. People have been walking on the thin line called work-life and have on most days walked past the border when one shouldn’t. Working parents are the ones that need some magic or a lamp to grant them the three wishes. They have been working more hours now and this means with the kids at home and wanting attention more than ever before, they have not only been disappointing them but also missing on the golden opportunity of being with their kids while they can. However, this can also mean vice-versa. Some parents have been carried away with the fact that they are home with their kids and now they walked on the other side of the line, nearly missing on managing work.
Well, it is a balancing act and one needs to be very careful with it. Let us try to understand in this article the art of walking on the thin line called work-life balance.
Assessing where the Time is beingSpent
Evaluating where the time is being wasted or if time is being invested or wasted is the first step in this assessment. This will help parents realize what the things they could have done differently are. To do this, we need to do a time-audit and to do this we need to sit down with your calendars from the previous months and compare by questing ourselves with the below questions:
- Is this particular event an efficient use of my time?
- Could I have delegated this to another?
- Could this have been outsourced?
- Are the events in the particular day looking too many tasks at one day and could have been simplified?
- Can this activity be eliminated if unnecessary?
A time analysis can not only help you use your time effectively but also help you save money or make money. Filling up the empty spaces in our calendar is an easy task but sticking to them is an extensive and exhaustive process. But we need to take control of the time we are spending and know how we are using the time we have and also evaluate where we are spending our time.
Working for a company that provides you with set hours to work for the day is a good thing as you can clock out right on time. You might love your work but then clocking out right on time is the best thing that you can to yourself. However, things can get a little out of hand looking at the fact that we are a generation that is looking for a career boost at any given point in time. But, if it is your own company and you are investing more working hours even without noticing and that is something you need to keep a check on. It is true, the market is full of competition and you need to work your way up but remember you work for your family, for yourself and giving more personal hours at work will not only take a toll on your mental health but it might also have a life-lasting impact on your family. The basic rule is- clock out. The importance of time management for parents seems impossible but is very essential.
This is not just limited to work but anything that is taking more of your time than it should. Netflix or Youtube was supposed to be entertainment times when you want to lay back on your sofa after a hard working day and just chill. But we are hosting Netflix marathons now, yes that is a thing now. Yes, clocking out is the important rule when it comes to time management and that is applicable wherever you are investing more time than you should.
Self-Care and Personal Development
You might have been very busy managing time between your kids and work, time management for the family is necessary, but, you need time for yourself too and that is the most important thing. If you do not take care of yourself, you stop growing and you need to grow for yourself and the people around you.
Look at the plant that you have at your work desk and stop watering it or fertilizing it for some time, what happens to the plant? It will wilt and so will you. Always find ways to keep feeding your thoughts with some positivity and learning.
Turn to a book again, take your kindle to your bed, and read a chapter before bedtime if not more. Or maybe on your way to the grocery store or waiting in some long queues you can turn on your audiobook. This way you can complete one book a week and tick on the list of books you have read this read won’t be a bad thing, will it?
The Magic Rule of Prioritizing and Rescheduling
Make a habit to go through your next day’s plan every day before bed and then make it a habit to prioritize from that list. There will be two out of five things that need your attention tomorrow itself and one of them could be rescheduled till the next day or a day when your calendar is not so eventful. This will not only help you get your priorities set but also help you take it easy on yourself.
Time management with kids around is difficult as they say it is, or more, but taking care of yourself and making sure that you take some time out for yourself is equally important. Be thoughtful and intentional about the time that you are spending and everything will fall into its place.