How to Balance Life at Home with Work Obligations

If you’re like me, you’re always searching for the perfect balance, and one area that I’m constantly fighting my own self in is the battle of WORK vs. HOME. Sometimes it’s literally exhausting, and I’m  not sure I’ll ever find the answer to it. It can be discouraging! So when Sarah from www.freepeoplesearch.org contacted me and wanted to share information along these lines for all of us at The Road to Domestication, I jumped at the chance! Let’s see if she can help!

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Balancing work responsibilities with home life has been a daunting proposition for as many years as people have been going to work.  Whether full or part-time, careers get in the way of domestic duties; prompting over-extended home makers to seek relief. 

Each situation carries its own challenges, so there is no precise blueprint available for balancing competing aspects of your life. If you are like most others, though, following several proven strategies can help you ease demands and find an agreeable balance between domestic and workplace obligations.

Prioritize with an eye toward economy

Economy isn’t always about saving money.  Time and energy are your most valuable resources, so they must be dished out responsibly.  As you age and family responsibilities become more numerous, your body simultaneously slows down.  Managing tasks you controlled easily in your youth requires greater effort, and sometimes takes more time.  Home improvements, hobbies, travel, and other activities are eclipsed by less ambitious daily tasks required to keep yourself and family afloat.

Keeping up with everything as you continually add more to your plate is impossible, no matter how energetic or efficient you are with your time.  Prioritizing takes an honest look at what you’d like to do, filtering your expectations with realistic views of what you actually can do.  Unfortunately, achieving the proper balance between home and work obligations sometimes means cutting back on activities you enjoy, lightening your load.

Lean on schedules and routines

Unexpected events pop-up in daily life; especially when juggling career responsibilities with those at home.  Taking an active role in scheduling, and following structured routines are great ways to stabilize your agenda, giving you more control to find the balance you need.  Taking pen to paper to account for your days is an illuminating experience; often highlighting ways to achieve greater balance.  By scheduling your time, for example, breaks and leisure pursuits can be built-in, so they are not taking time away from your work and domestic responsibilities.

Streamline your days

When pressed, many people realize they move through life in very inefficient ways.  To help restore balance to your life, take stock of your daily routines, incorporating efficiency of movement.  Trips to market and other errands, for example, capture significant parts of your days, unless they are managed effectively.  Life doesn’t always furnish the lead times we’d like, but anticipating events and planning for them has a balancing impact on the flow of your days, yielding less surprises.  Couples, for example, use a “divide and conquer” approach to streamline their schedules, affording better balance, without sacrificing family time.

Use technology to save time

The information age leads to hectic living for some families balancing job roles with domestic duties; but it also provides technology to help balance the pull of modern life.  Whenever possible, utilize technological advances to increase your own efficiency – at work and home.  Something as simple as automated online bill payments, for example, saves you time writing checks and mailing payments, which account for significant drains on your schedule.

Telecommuting is growing in popularity, due to technological advances allowing workers to conduct business; including web and video conferences, from home.  In this case technology adds a new option for balancing work and home life, by naturally bringing the two realms closer together.

Balancing work responsibilities with demands at home will continue to challenge modern families, but organization and other proactive approaches can help ease the burden!

Great points, Sarah! (This was a guest post by Sarah Brooks from Best People Search. She is a Houston based freelance writer and blogger. Questions and comments can be sent to brooks.sarah23@gmail.com.)

I really need to put some of this into practice, for sure! How about you? How do YOU balance home and work? Do share your secrets!

89 thoughts on “How to Balance Life at Home with Work Obligations

  1. I needed this post. I need to start writing out my day for scheduling! That is definitely something I can start doing NOW! Will do. Thanks!

  2. Such a helpful tips.. Thats why my mother is a superhero at our house he does all of the work and the house cleaning.. im so proud of him. my mother will love to read this blog! Thank you for sharing!!

  3. I work from home, so it may be a bit easier for me to balance the running of my home – it’s easy for me to pop a load of laundry in the wash while working. I keep a schedule though, as I like to stay focused and ensure I don’t miss any deadlines.

  4. I need to streamline better. I’ve got a big thing due today and I get distracted by what I want to do, instead of getting done what I have to do!! I’m working out of order sometimes. 😉

  5. I am a homemaker, right now full time (except the little blogging I do). And I must say that I enjoy it tremendously. Like you say, to find the perfect balance as a mom and homemaker if working is imposable. I wish we just all could be homemakers all the time, but our system consecrated on money does not allow it.

  6. Thanks for these wonderful tips! As a single mompreneur with a teenager and a pre-teen, there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to get things done. Anything helps and these tips are definitely practical

  7. Scheduling is a huge way to balance work vs home. I always try to keep on a schedule, because if not I wouldn’t be able to accomplish everything that I need to.

  8. Super post! I am a big proponent of using technology to help ease our loads. Online bill payment and banking, online lists and organization tools like any-do and evernote, online meetings using Skype or Google hangouts and online shopping for everything from dry good to clothing and medication.

  9. These are really great tips. I remember when I was working, trying to find the right balance was darn near impossible. I felt like nothing was ever going to get done. Having this as a guide certainly would have helped me learn to adjust a little, I bet!

  10. We are empty nesters but that doesn’t keep us from being busy people. When we are both working, schedules and responsibilities can become hectic and sometimes difficult. We have to prioritize, schedule and stick to it. If it isn’t on the schedule, it doesn’t exist! We have to be cooperative with one another as well.

  11. Since my kids are off in the world, I don’t really have to worry too much about balance. However, I try to walk away in the evenings to just enjoy TV or a movie.

  12. Schedules are so important to keep but also to be able to have some free time. Everyone needs to be able to be a little flexible otherwise I think it could get too stressful if they mess up one day. Great tips!

  13. Work smarter, not harder has never been more true in my life. :) I work harder now than I did at my 40hr. week job, and get way less pay, lol, so schedules really have become important. It’s easy to just want to do ‘one more thing.’ And you know how that works out.

  14. I seriously do not think there is a person on this earth that is more disorganized at home than me! I have to make a schedule, stick to it and enjoy the freedom of knowing I can do it all! While technology is grand and it ‘should’ in all reality free up my time, it seems to create more for me to do.. I get distracted easily as I get older.. I am going to print out an old school calendar and WALLPAPER it up, maybe even in my car where I try to escape reality.. nope, not my car.. my safe haven ! I’m great at multi tasking.. but keep making up more tasks for myself and then let the routine stuff like cleaning and laundry fall to the wayside.. MUST get back to basics and find my routine again.. This post is dead on with routines and schedules! I would pay someone to take a list of my daily life and put it in nice little time blocks.. tell me what to do when.. seriously.. If you find them let me know!!

  15. THANK YOU! I needed this post as well! You guys are preaching me under a pew right now. I struggle with balance. I used to waste hours of time doing something and then realizing that “hey, I can’t do this” My husband then comes and tells me “Alicia, just pay someone to do that for you. It makes more sense. You are wasting time and energy that you can’t get back, let a professional do it” I took his advice and I couldn’t be more happier. I learn that lesson about that and actually sticking to a schedule. It really does help!

  16. Great, great tips! Meal planning and prep is my main way to keep things flowing smoothly. I make several crock pot freezer meals on the weekend so I just have to throw it in the crock pot and dinner is done.

  17. This is a wonderful post. I used to have such problems with making time for home and work in my day. I am lucky enough to be at home now, but I am going to share this with a few friends.

  18. Really good tips. As for me I’m all over the place these days and only get some things done while others are put in the back burner. Have to change that though…soon (that’s the procrastinator in me talking).

  19. Even with having no kids, I find that the more “adult” tasks being tacked on daily, it gets harder for me to balance everything. Calendars & schedules are so good right now!

  20. With the new business on top of the toddler, acreage, and the day job, I’m having a bit of a struggle with this right now. Hopefully it will settle down soon, or I’ll be back to this post for advice!

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  23. I needed to thank you for this excellent read!!
    I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it. I’ve got you bookmarked to check out new
    things you post…

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