Ideal for those looking to redress their work/life balance in favour of living.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Tougher still is building a routine and sticking to it, juggling the expectations of work and family with dexterous, delicate hands.

In recent times of crisis, it’s become startlingly apparent that so many of us have been doing it all wrong, prioritising hours in the office when time spent with family means so much more. If you’re like us, and want to skew things in favour of intimacy, love and quality time, then you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve been recalibrating, researching, and reading articles like these which give the example of actress Abigail Burdess and her actor husband, Robert Webb, who emphasise the importance of family time in their day-to-day lives, whether that’s through watching television programs they all enjoy or eating together, and we’ve come to a few realisations. 

With that in mind, here are 5 ways to maximise family time, IDEAL for those looking to redress their work/life balance in favour of living.

INVOLVE THE KIDS

In modern society, when children would much rather spend time on the iPad or PlayStation, it’s important to encourage them to unplug. And the best way to coax them away from their screens is by involving the little ones in everything you do, making the mundane meaningful.

While they’re young, teach them about such things as organising their toys, helping with the cooking, and maybe partaking in bigger projects like making the bed. Regardless of what it is, these activities will not only teach them how to become independent, but will also grant you some shared family time when, usually, it might just be you solitarily completing these chores. It might take some time to get into the habit of involving your kids in everyday activities, but there’s no reason it can’t be fun!

UTILISE TECHNOLOGY

Yep, we acknowledge the irony of writing this just after we implored you to spend less time on screens, but technology has become incredibly diverse in recent years and can be used to encourage family time when deployed astutely. 

From digital calendars with built-in alarms for scheduling appointments, to having your groceries or even medications delivered to limit the number of trips you have to take, there are technological solutions to many time-consuming problems. Harnessing the power of the click’s convenience will give you more time to spend with the family. 

As any parent will know all too well of late, technology can also serve as a means of education. Activities like finding recipes online to try making together, or learning something as part of a school project, are a great way to maximise family time and keep your kids engaged. 

DEVELOP BOUNDARIES WITH WORK

It’s good to be ambitious with your job, to be the go-getter and a team-player, but you have to set boundaries on yourself to ensure you’re giving your kids the attention and nurturing they deserve. If you don’t enact this self-discipline, you’ll end up sacrificing time with your family in the name of ‘getting ahead’. What a tragic scene that is. 

If you have planned and scheduled commitments with the family, make sure your boss understands that you can’t always work late. Also, ensure overtime doesn’t become a regular thing; there really are more important things in life, as the recent global pandemic has surely taught us all. 

Whilst we’re not saying you should jeopardise your job, do make sure you set boundaries so you’re able to have a balanced life between work and your family.

DESIGNATE FAMILY TIME AWAY FROM DISTRACTIONS

Even within the same family, everyone will have different interests. So, setting designated family time and doing the same activities together can be a great bonding experience. Some activity ideas include: 

  • Watching a movie together
  • A trip to the museum
  • Playing a board game
  • A new activity like rock wall climbing or biking
  • Going to the fair or a theme park
  • Having a picnic
  • Taking a scenic drive

Really, any activity that’s designed to bring you together and have fun, without any motive other than enjoying each other’s company, is suitable. The key here is to ensure this time is free from distractions like mobile phones, so you can genuinely connect.

TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO BE KIND

If there’s one key skill to instil in your children during family time, it’s kindness. Teaching your children to be kind—not just to others, but to themselves—is something that will serve them well beyond your family, and later in life. 

You can communicate these values through family-time activities like volunteering, baking for the homeless, sorting through old toys to donate to charity, and other actions which are altruistic and beneficial to the community.

In recent years it’s become ever more pressing to educate your children about climate change, too. Endeavour to make this a shared family activity through trips to botanical gardens, inner city farms and conservation areas. The ultimate fusing of education, the great outdoors, and family fun, we think.