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8 Ways to make more time for family

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8 Ways To Spend Time With Your Family52 – Live Great – Great Eastern Life

 

Careful planning and good time management are key ingredients to striking the perfect work-life balance. However, the thought of sitting down and drumming up a way of accomplishing this can be greatly stressful in its own right. Below are eight tips on creating harmony between our professional lives and our free time.

If you've tried any of the above, you'll know that even small changes can bring rich rewards. Simple tasks like eating as a family or putting aside one hour every evening to spend time with your loved ones goes a long way to ensuring that you strike the perfect work-life balance.

  1. Prioritise the important moments
    It will make you and your family unhappy when you miss the important things in life – like your child's sports day or your partner's birthday celebration. Remember that your colleagues all have important moments they want to enjoy too. Help each other out by organising a rota so that you can cover for each other. This will ensure that work gets delivered and no one misses out on family milestones.

  2. Plan ahead
    It might seem odd to apply work tools to your leisure time, but the fact is that if you plan downtime into your schedule you're more likely to protect it. The Cozi Family Organizer app allows you to plan and manage family schedules, while the Evernote app lets you take create to-do lists and record voice reminders – and makes these all searchable.

  3. Manage your time
    You might think you're the busiest person at work, but if you get sucked into meaningless conversations and office politics that's just wasted time. Cut down on water cooler conversations, or you'll end up working later and spending less time at home.

  4. Make the moments count
    Your children will remember the quality of time they spent with you, not necessarily the duration. Give them the full attention they deserve. If you have your smartphone on you on the weekend, only use it to stay in touch with the family – don't be tempted to check your email or monitor your messages.

  5. Find time for family
    Sign up for Internet banking. If you queue at the bank once a month to deposit your pay cheque you're likely to queue for half an hour at a time. In the course of a year that's six hours you've wasted – extra time you could spend with your family doing something enjoyable. Cooking meals can also be a time-consuming process at the end of a long working day. At the start of the week, make a list of all of your family's staple meals. Organise your groceries by sections – fruit and veg, meat and poultry, etc – and make a note of what you're running out of. Then order online and get your groceries delivered.

  6. Eat together
    Staying connected with extended family is important. Make sure that you visit elderly relatives during the holidays or on important festival days. It reiterates the importance of family to both you and your children, and won't impact on your work schedule.

  7. Optimise your time
    You take the time out of your day to eat anyway, so why not make a meal a family occasion? Make the time to sit down together, whether it's once a day or once a week. To make sure that everyone has a human connection, have a house rule that no phones or tablets are allowed at family meals whether you're cooking at home or eating out.

  8. Make the moments count
    Making the most of every moment is important if you want to balance personal and career goals. If you drive to work, plan to take your partner or children to work or school as often as possible. After you've dropped them off, audio books are a great way to consume fiction or business-related learning on a long commute and can be downloaded from service providers like Amazon and Audible. So go ahead, streamline your day!
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