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As we enter an age where technology allows us to work from home and avoid a daily commute, we see more and more people taking advantage of this opportunity. Finding a balance between work and family life, especially if you have small children, can be challenging at times but not impossible. That’s why it’s important to prioritize setting your schedule.

With your newfound freedom, you may find it tempting to switch up your hours on a daily basis and not have any routine schedule. This can often get you in trouble, however, because it won’t allow you or your family to get used to a daily routine. Instead, try these tips to create a schedule with ease, and without taking away time from family and the life you love.

Have Set Hours

Although you are no longer working the 9-to-5 job, it’s still important to focus on setting your schedule to include regular working hours throughout the day. This doesn’t have to be the same for everyone, though. You can adjust it to fit your situation and family life. It may be easier for some to work early in the morning and others to start their workday late at night. Keep your family involved and come up with a plan together so everyone is aware of the daily schedule. Don’t worry if you have to change your hours every so often. There are always things that come up and exceptions that can be made. It helps to know ahead of time what hours you will be working, however, and make life easier for everyone.

Take Time Off

If you are new to working at home this may seem like a foreign concept. You may not feel like you need or deserve time off because you are home every day. You have to remember that even though you are home, you are still working and providing for your family just as if you were working the 9 to 5. It’s important to schedule some “you” time and also family time every so often in order to avoid burnout and simply spend time with those you love.  Yes, setting your schedule for time to recharge is not only ok, but encouraged! Draw a bath and ask your husband or another trusted family member to keep the kids occupied for a few hours.  Grab a book, a glass of wine, and fill up your bath with Epsom salts and relaxing essential oils.  Spend some time unwinding at the end of the day and get work off your mind.  Also, plan a vacation a year in advance.  Studies show that the anticipation of planning a vacation is just as exciting as going on vacation.  Spend a few minutes each week dreaming of what you’ll be doing when you go.  If you can swing it, plan multiple mini-vacations (you are working for yourself now, so you can work from anywhere with wifi) as a housesitter to save money or even a staycation.  Trusted Housesitters is a fantastic service that allows you to housesit across the world and a year’s membership is less than a cheap hotel room for one night!

Be Present 

There is a saying that you shouldn’t take your work home with you. When you work from home that is somewhat hard to do but the concept is still the same. When you have worked your set number of hours, turn the computer off, shut the door and be done with it. That is your time to be present with your family and spend precious time with them without thinking about work and what still has to be done. This is hard especially when you are first starting out but you will get the hang of it. Don’t get caught up in wanting to get so much done that you are avoiding that important family time.

A daily schedule is going to be different for every single person. There is no right or wrong way to set a routine. The important thing is that you stick to it once you decide on one. Script your days to schedule specific times when you are not working and when you are. Family and work balance is always tricky because you are being pulled in two different directions on a daily basis. Don’t stress yourself out trying to be everything for everyone. This is especially hard if you are new to this type of lifestyle because you want to get so much done and still fill your role within the family. Create a schedule that works for you, stick to it, and don’t overdo it.

What about you?  What tools do you use to schedule your time and manage work-life balance?  Comment below and share your tips with the Making It Pay To Stay community!