The warm days of summer are already fading, with family road trips, beach days, and other adventures behind you. With back to school and back to work in full swing for another year, it can be challenging for working parents to adjust and accommodate everyone's schedules, while efficiently meeting the demands of their job. Keep in mind the following to get back in the swing of things this fall while ensuring you are still maintaining the work/life balance that you need to stay sharp every day in the office.
Map your Child's Key Commitments Ahead of Time
For the busy parent and worker, scheduling is the key. Having visibility into what's coming can help you plan how to make the most of your time–both in the office and with the family. Whether it's requesting time off to attend a key event well in advance or planning alternative transportation to sports events when you have to work, knowing the schedule ahead of time can help eliminate a lot of stress. Many families use a shared calendar to identify high-priority activities, and determine where scheduling conflicts may arise well in advance.
Highlight your Key Business Responsibilities
Every job has periods where you have to have a solid and uninterrupted focus. Whether it's accountants during tax seasons or workers prepping for a busy holiday retail season, it's smart to know when your key work responsibilities are. With that in mind, it's easier to plan things like family vacations, long weekends, or other time off. It can also help you get extra help at home to make sure that you're available for overtime or have the full focus to work through a challenging project, without the worry that other areas of your life are suffering.
Embrace Mobility Tools and Flexible Schedules
For many parents, mobility tools and flexible schedules have made it more possible to balance family and work responsibilities. It's possible to take a call while attending a soccer game, for example, or to answer emails on your mobile device while having dinner with your family. Both companies and employees benefit from flexible schedules, mobility tools, and cloud-based software needed to get things done. Even if you're committed to being 100% present when you're at work or at home, knowing that you can handle emergencies easily when they arise helps you to focus on your job.
Remember to Incorporate Balance in Other Areas of your Life
With a busy job and a full schedule of school and extracurricular activities for kids, it can be easy to let other parts of your life slip. Does your work-life balance include time to yourself, a fitness schedule, and bonding with a partner? Recharging your own batteries and investing in self-care can help keep you healthy, energetic, and focused–especially when both work and family demands are fighting for your attention.
The realities of being a working parent often mean that you're being pulled in multiple directions. Advanced planning, prioritizing, taking advantage of benefits and technologies at your workplace, and ensuring you take time for yourself are all essential parts of the being there for your family, being sharp at the office, and feeling great about your work/life balance.