Thanks to Eyezen glasses for sponsoring this conversation.
If you’re a working parent, you’re certainly no stranger to work-life balance tips.
There are countless articles and books out there ready to teach you how to juggle it all effectively. They’ll tell you to let go of your perfectionist tendencies and recognize that you can’t do it all. They’ll tell you to schedule some “me time” every now and then. They’ll tell you to do just one thing at a time because multi-tasking is the enemy.
Not bad advice, certainly. The trouble is that we’ve heard those tips so many times they’re starting to lose their meaning.
We read the articles, think about the tips, and yet nothing in our lives really changes.
That’s why I want to shake things up a bit with these 5 work-life balance tips that you probably haven’t heard yet.
5 Unexpected Work-Life Balance Tips
1. Talk to your kids about your work.
One of the greatest struggles faced by working parents is the constant need to shut off certain parts of their brains (or at least attempt to).
The minute you walk into the office you’re supposed to forget about your toddler’s tantrum this morning because you need to be productive.
Then the moment you walk in the door you’re supposed to forget about that looming deadline because you need to be present with your children.
I admire people whose brains can actually do that; most of ours can’t.
A good strategy, then, is to engage your kids in conversation about your work—what you do, why you do it, what you love about it, what your frustrations are, etc.
Don’t be afraid to tell them when something went well (or the opposite) at the office that day—using kid-friendly terms, of course.
This can help your transition from one world to another because you’ll no longer feel like you have to shut off an entire part of yourself. Added benefits: It will help your children understand the importance of work and prepare them for their future careers.
2. Become a master delegator.
I get it: You’re sick of being told to stop trying to do it all without also being told how to make it happen.
It’s easy for people to say, “Don’t worry about the laundry!” because they’re not the ones who will have to deal with the eventual no-one-has-any-clean-underwear situation.
It’s easy for people to say, “You can only do so much!” because they’re not the ones who have to give that cobbled-together-at-the-last-minute presentation at work.
The key, then, is to delegate.
In order to delegate effectively, though, you first need to understand what delegating is NOT.
It’s not micro-managing your co-worker.
It’s not complaining that your partner folded the laundry all wrong.
It’s not waiting for someone to step up and offer their help.
It’s not accepting help but neglecting to say “thank you.”
Delegating—in the office or at home—is kindly asking for help with a task, letting go of unrealistic expectations for how it should be completed, and acknowledging and appreciating the help you receive. And ultimately, it lightens your crushing load.
3. Relieve your eyes.
Sounds strange, I know, until you think about how drained you feel after staring at a screen all day, be it at work or at home.
You feel physically drained.
You feel emotionally drained.
You feel like you can do nothing besides crash on the couch in front of the TV—except that it’s another screen!
Of course, our eyes aren’t meant to look at millions of glowing pixels all day long, and the result is what’s called digital eye strain.
Digital eye strain is that uncomfortable feeling you get after staring at your devices for too long.
For many, it results in their eyes feeling dry, itchy, or burning. I personally feel like digital eye strain leaves me with a pounding headache or just zapped of energy for the rest of the day.
And when you’re a working parent, the last thing you need is to be zapped of energy!
To combat the issue and give our eyes some relief, we can and should take regular breaks from our digital devices. But some days that just isn’t possible. Enter Eyezen glasses.
Eyezen lenses are made with innovative technology that’s crafted to filter out the harmful blue light from screens that leads to digital eye strain—keeping your eyes relaxed and comfortable while you use your various devices.
While ordinary glasses help you see your world, Eyezen glasses enhance the way you live in it—especially as a working parent balancing work and family responsibilities.
Most days I spend hours working on my computer, smartphone, and tablet, and by the time I’m finished both my eyes and body are exhausted. It’s hard to muster up more energy for my kiddos! So I’m in favor of any technology that helps me manage my device-filled lifestyle.
And hey, they look great too! I love these Ray-Ban frames.
The best part? Eyezen glasses are available to everyone, whether you have a prescription or not!
4. Choose one rejuvenating “extra.”
The concept of “me time” sounds lovely, of course, but without a more concrete strategy for making it happen, it probably won’t.
Work takes a lot of time and energy. Family takes even more. So at the end of the day, there’s just not a lot left to give.
So instead of stressing out over how to carve out some “me time,” instead focus on choosing just one “extra” beyond your work and family responsibilities.
Maybe it’s your weekly yoga class.
Maybe it’s a monthly coffee date with your best friend.
Maybe it’s knitting blankets every now and then while you indulge in a Netflix marathon.
Choose just one thing. Sounds more doable, right?
5. Redefine “balance.”
What is balance anyway?
Is it having a little of everything—work, family, relaxation—each and every day?
If so, most of us are probably failing miserably.
I prefer to think about balance over a longer span of time—maybe a week or even a month. Because there are going to be days where I have to give it my all at work and neglect my family a bit in the process. Likewise, there are going to be days where I need to focus solely on my children and ignore every single email that comes my way.
And that’s OK. We don’t need to balance it all perfectly day in and day out. Instead, we can focus on keeping our priorities straight over the course of a week or a month, that way we stay on top of things without ignoring what’s most important.
What are your best work-life balance tips?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Essilor . The opinions and text are all mine.