Today is the longest day of the year. Yes, I know when you're juggling kids, work and general daily life every day feels like an eternity.
But today actually IS the longest day fo the year, the summer solstice. So you're stuck in the office instead of being out and about in the sun? You're not alone.
According to a recent survey of 2,761 parents by Working Families charity and Bright Horizons day nurseries only 35% of parents across the UK manage to go home on time every day. Another third said they left work on time only half the time and another 42% said the work follows them home by working in the evenings or at weekends.
So today, Working Families is encouraging parents to embrace the longest day of the year- by going home on time and spending quality time with their families.
Speaking to The Huffington Post, Sarah Jackson, chief executive of Working Families explained why parents should embrace punctual work place departing:
“This is an opportunity for parents to reflect on their own work life balance and think about small changes – or big ones - they could make for lasting improvements,” Jackson said. “Going home on time is something we should all feel able to do, not just today but every day.”
To enable parents to feel empowered to leave without guilt, Working Families provided several tips that parents should apply in the work place before 3pm.
Firstly, prioritise as much as you possibly can.
“There are simple tools that can help you sort what needs to done first, next, given to someone else or not done at all,” Jackson elaborates. “The Eisenhower matrix is a good example. While it sounds fancy, it’s really just a four-box grid where you plot tasks depending on how important and/or urgent they are. You can download a free app via eisenhower.me.”
Part of that prioritising is embracing the to-do list. Jackson advises that you write everything you have to do down so you can switch off as soon as you step out.
“This way, you don’t have to hold them in your head until you’re next at work,” she said.
Secondly, get your colleagues involved- talk to them to make sure demands on your time are all equal. If possible, delegate. while many of us could feel guilty about passing our work on to someone else, it could make life a lot easier in the long run.
“Could someone else complete it more efficiently, or use it as a learning experience?” Jackson asks us to ask ourselves.
While it may be tempting to reply to one last email- don't. Ask yourself if you can leave it until the next morning or until Monday. The world's not going to end if you don't reply straight away.
But finally and most importantly, Jackson recommends that parents stay focused for those final two hours.
“If possible, don’t check and respond to requests as soon as they come in, if it’s getting close to the time you finish,” said Jackson. Little steps to achieve this include turning your email alerts off ot setting aside certain periods for admin-tasks to get them out of the way effectively.
What do you think mums? Do you need to get out the work door faster or do you have your own balancing tips?