Although it may still be a bit chilly, spring is officially here and it’s time to take a fresh look at tips for creating work-life balance.
Work must go on; there are bills to pay, but the sunshine and waramth are calling. Family activities are ramping up – baseball games and soccer games, weddings, trips and vacations, and for the parents of high school upperclassmen, perhaps college visits as well. There’s so much to do, and so little time. You do your best to find options to work effectively. But often, in the back of your mind, there is that little nagging voice complaining that you should really be working, and not “wasting time” enjoying yourself.
Spring and summer won’t wait; your family is growing older every minute, but he responsibilities of business persist. Yet with a few tips for work-life balance, you can blend profitable work benefits into your warm weather fun times. You will still only have 24 hours in a day, but you can make the most of them.
Simple tips for creating work-life balance:
- Be sociable. Introduce yourself to the other parents at your son’s or daughter’s sports and recreational activities. Find out about their interests and occupations. At very least you’ll expand your knowledge in new areas; more often than you might expect you may find a new contact for your business and work networks. Keep business cards on hand; you don’t need to be pushy, but be ready to share your business information.
- Rest, relax and reflect. If you can carve out even a brief break, while relaxing on a warm, sunny beach or cozy hammock, envision your business in the future. What does it look like? What new ideas do you have? Often the best ideas come when you least expect them. Daydream. Clear your mind and let inspiration strike. Keep paper and pen handy; make notes and take action when you return!
- Let the kids help. Little ones can draw pictures for your office. Kids’ artwork is a great conversation-starter and can often open the door to stronger business relationships. If they’re especially prolific, let them design one-of-a-kind notecards for business and personal use. The best ones can be photocopied, or you can use the originals for extra special notes. Or let them put stamps on postcards or stuff and seal envelopes. Get that mailing you keep putting off done by willing hands.
- Take the time during summer vacation to tell your kids about your business and career. Kids are curious, and understanding what you do during the day can be important to them. Let them ask questions. They’ll be your biggest supporters and fans, and might even end up funneling business your way!
- Put your teenager’s expertise to use – ask your teen to design templates, refresh your website or polish up your Linked-In profile. Someone under the age of twenty can probably handle social media or computer programs in a fraction of the time it would take you, and the results just may be far better! Have your teen update you on the latest popular software platforms. There is some truth to the statement, “Facebook? That’s for old people.” The “under 40” crowd may still be on the platform, but there are a handful of other places which are far more popular among the younger demographic. Learn about them and get a crash course from your resident professional.
- Bring summertime into your work time. Executive golf meetings and lunch meetings on patios might not fit your job or lifestyle. So expand on the ideas – invite a colleague for a brisk walk after lunch; enjoy the weather, refresh, and get to know someone better. Or coordinate a pot luck summer picnic and ask everyone to bring a favorite dish. You’ll enjoy the company, and the weather, and learn something new about your colleagues.
- Be good to yourself. A little rest and recreation, some time away from the office is good for the spirit, and good for business. Take the kids to the park. Have a no reason at all celebration dinner with your special significant other. Work can be highly rewarding, but keep work and “life” in balance.
Take time to enjoy the season. Things generally do slow down, so take advantage of the slightly less intense pace. Get creative. Discover your own tips for creating work-life balance. Connect with your family, keep connected to business, and connect with yourself.