Back in the 1960s, only 20 percent of mothers worked, most husbands served as the sole sources of family income, and single parents rarely existed. Today, the Center for American Progress states that 70 percent of American children live in households where both parents work long hours.
There’s more: A gut-wrenching 66.5 percent of females and 85.8 percent of males in the US work over 40 hours per week. Therefore, Americans work 137 more hours per year than the hardest working nationality in the world, the Japanese.
How do women handle all of this work, though? I reached out to some hard-working females and asked them to share their best tips and tricks for keeping their head above water at work. Here’s what they said:
1. Bid Goodbye to Manual Process
Did you know that the average person makes 35,000 decisions per day? The sheer amount of daily choices alone can lead to decision-making fatigue.
Some of these decisions we make on a daily basis are mundane, but taking some of these decisions off your plate can help you lighten the load. Therefore, only channel your energy into projects that need your attention the most. Spend time with your family, develop new skills for your résumé, or sign up for a cooking class.
2. Set up a Support System at Home
Gina N. Holzer, Founder & CEO of Wholy Dosesays, suggests, “If you work long hours, then you already stress about work. Don’t add to it stress about home and family management. Ensure you have some help to manage home affairs like cooking, grocery shopping, cleaning, and [childcare]. With that in place, you’re free to focus on work, hopefully allowing you to finish it faster and destress at home. “
Colleen Lloyd-Roberts, Co-Founder at Monkeys In Hats Digital Marketing, agrees. She adds, “I think a large part of success comes in managing your home-life and your work-life [diligently]. [It] comes down to planning and communication with everyone on your team – your work team and your family team.”
3. Make Friends with Planning & Preparation
Preparation sets the stage, if we take time to prepare for the day ahead, we are lessening our load which allows for more time to do the tasks that may take longer.
Family Coach Calvalyn Day, recommends that everyone should “take 15 minutes at the end of each night to prep for the next day. Even if you’re dead tired, it’ll save you so much hassle. If you can add a little extra prep periodically on the weekend or during a lunch period, do that too.”
4. Take Breaks to Recharge Your Batteries
According to a University of Illinois study, pushing through large amounts of work without breaks saps your focus and productivity. Therefore, to perform to the best of your ability, you need time to rest.
Business Coach Kristen David recommends that people “set times to get up from your desk, have lunch, and leave for the evening. Working long hours takes its toll, and soon, everything feels like it takes longer. Good employers and good productive workers know that getting up for 5-10 min and taking a break can help reset the body so that it’s ready to tackle the next project.” Lindsey Nickel recommends meditation apps during those quick brain breaks, too.
5. Get Good Sleep
Erica, Digital Marketer at Orange Tree Press, recommends that you get quality sleep any chance you can. She recommends implimenting some sleep hygiene techniques like a warm bath before bedtime or cup of chamomile tea. Adtionally Erica says, “A routine will help you fall asleep quickly and deeply for the little time you have. And a gentle alarm to wake me is better than a jarring alarm.”
6. Go Full-Steam on Good Nutrition
Colleen Lloyd-Roberts says, “You absolutely [must] eat healthy foods that don’t wear you down and make you feel bloated and heavy.” She recommends that you stay away from breads and grains and eat large amounts of protein, fruits, and vegetables. Nutritionist Lisa Richards adds, “Planning ahead of time to pack nutrient-dense snacks will prevent them from turning to convenience foods that are high in sugar and other pro-inflammatory compounds. ”
Almost all of us struggle with balancing work and life, but with proper management of time and creating a support system of people in and outside of the work environment, that balance can be much more achievable.