Following recent financial crises, there is a growing realisation in society that friendships, family and hobbies are more important than money. People are slowing down; they are making less money but having more fun. There are lots of ways this can be achieved. Here are a few examples of strategies that work:
- Ask your employer to be more family friendly. Many companies now have a documented policy for being a “family friendly workplace”, so if yours doesn’t, ask for one!
- Set up your own business. Women in particular have chosen this option for increased flexibility in work hours and the ability to work from home.
- Manage your time better to reduce your work hours, for example by reading on the train and cutting back on non-work related activities (eg personal phone calls) during work hours.
- Change your work hours. Work the same hours but in fewer days so that you can have one day off a week or maybe just work fewer hours for less pay. Some couples have found that if they each work reduced hours they still have an adequate income but more leisure or family time.
- Review your priorities. Don’t try and achieve everything at once. Do you really need a bigger house, a new car and an overseas holiday all in the same year?
- Downsize your life. Buy a smaller house with a smaller mortgage, make do with your old car for a couple more years and send your children to a good public school rather than paying for a private education.
These are just a few of the ways in which people are succeeding to balance their lives. You can choose to work long hours and feel as though are going nowhere, or you can choose to get a life.