In a society that values busy and high-achieving individuals, it can be difficult to find the appropriate balance between work and home life, especially as a new parent. In order to determine what the balance might look like for you, it’s critical first to identify your priorities. It’s no wonder that 83% of millennials would change jobs for better family benefits.
It is also worthwhile to acknowledge that your views about the best balance might well change throughout various stages of your life. Whereas you may have more time for work in your twenties and early thirties, the demands of home can become greater as you start and raise a family.
Because of the speed and reach, both broad and deep, that the internet has created for society, many people have come to expect immediate reactions and responses. This can be difficult to navigate, especially for work. In fact, lactating parents miss work more than twice as often when their babies aren’t breastfed.
If you don’t meet those expectations, many individuals will grow frustrated about the waiting game, operating within normal business hours and failing to receive an instant response or solution. In order to protect your time away from work, though, it is imperative to keep in mind three essentials before you respond.
1. Does this fall within your designated work hours? If you do not have designated work hours for yourself, especially if you work from home, then it might be time to establish them. This slot of time will empower you to separate your time and energy between work and home.
The separation is necessary in order to establish a boundary. It restrains the temptation to multitask, and allows you to be present for each task at hand. This presence is critical for productivity at work and relationships at home.
2. Is it honestly time sensitive? All too often, queries or tasks are not as time-sensitive as you’re apt to assume. If you have already stopped working for the day, reject the impulse to solve the problem immediately, and save your response for the following day.
If you really want to take it to the next level, don’t check any emails until the following day either, so you may be fully present in your home life.
3. Is this more important than your personal time? Many Individuals tend to prioritize the demands of others, especially in work, ahead of their own needs. The time you give yourself away from the office can be just as valuable, if not more so, than your time in the office.
This is due to the opening it gives you to reset, retain good mental and physical health, and allow your brain to rest. The break can be vital in feeding your creativity and problem-solving skills in the workplace. Your rest can often lead to better work productivity later, especially for new parents on parental leave, who are navigating the postpartum period for the first time.
Creating boundaries is one of the most vital tasks of achieving an appropriate work/life balance. It is no wonder there’s been such a push recently for parental leave employer benefits programs after a baby is born, not only for the mother, but also the father.
Without boundaries set for new parents, companies will automatically seek to maximize whatever they ask of their employees. It’s no wonder that 43% of women leave the workforce within three months of childbirth. The Centers for Disease Control have determined that “Paid parental leave can reduce financial stress, allow parents to focus on bonding with their child, and increase gender equality when fathers have more time to participate in child care duties.” And with a lactation program, 83% of employees reported higher company satisfaction, indicating that with the right care and the right tools, parents can return to the workplace knowing that they and their families are set up for breastfeeding success – and that their employers have their backs.
In addition, according to The Lactation Network, an employer lactation benefits program increases the success of breastfeeding, with 70% of TLN parents meeting the CDC’s recommended exclusive breastfeeding duration of 6 months, compared to just 25% of lactating parents nationwide. Ultimately, this results in parents missing less work in the long run due to a sick child. With in-person expert lactation care that meets them where they are, parents can meet their feeding goals and come back to work with confidence. Boundaries are vital not only for the health of workers, but the long-term health and stability of the company as well.
Creating and maintaining acceptable routines is vital to your productivity, both at home and at work. Routines are useful for both the morning and evening, especially if they lead to healthy and long-lasting habits.
When you establish appropriate regimens for yourself, it is vital to take into account your personal strengths and limitations. If you are a morning person, schedule your productive time for the morning, and an appropriate system if you’re a night owl.
Work with the natural rhythm of your body. A good balance often includes setting aside time for your health and wellness.
When you prioritize sleep, exercise, and proper nutrition and hydration, you increase your ability to work effectively. Making time for these critical facets of your life comes only after you initially develop routines and habits, and set the boundaries that enable you to avoid becoming distracted by work during these routines.
Additionally, such practices can be helpful within the work environment, as you identify and prioritize your tasks and duties for each day.
Pursue Your Passion
A famous quote by Confucius states: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Although this may sound cliché at this point, there has never been a more opportune time to follow the ancient philosopher’s advice.
Many individuals have found ways to maximize their passions, due to the ease of the internet and the opportunities it offers to establish money-making openings. Between social media potentials, content creation, and the chance to expand your business online, the web can broaden your clientele base.
Although we live in a culture where fast and immediate results are taken for granted, they shouldn’t be mandatory. When you pursue your passion, establish routines, and create necessary boundaries, you will become a more well-rounded, healthy, and happy individual.
That will make you a better worker, because you’ll be more present and productive. Finding the right resources to balance is vital, not only for the health of the individual, but also the health of employers, businesses and families.