Whether you’re still working from home, or have gone back to your place of employment, work-life balance can be difficult to find as busy parents. The juggle was always real, but now it feels really difficult to keep up.

So, it’s probably no surprise that families are making work-life balance a bigger priority in the new year, according to our sponsor Vrbo’s 2022 Trend Report. They’ve been our go-to for putting the balance back into our busy work lives when it comes to time away with our families over the years.

On their behalf, we put together 4 ways to help you prioritize work-life balance, keeping in mind that balance isn’t something you achieve, but rather, it’s a cycle that just keeps rolling along.

4 ways to help parents prioritize work-life balance | sponsor

1. Prioritize your day. 

To-do lists feel like they should make you productive, but they can actually do the opposite because everything on the list carries the same weight. However, not everything is at the same level of importance, right? This is an approach we learned from a former Spawned podcast guest and author Jake Knapp. Think about it! Making that doctor’s appointment that you keep putting off, and spending fifteen minutes of screen-free time together with your kid could actually be more important than mailing that package. So before you sit down in the morning, and just decide to rip through your daily to-do list, prioritize what will make you feel the most accomplished first.

2. Learn how to say “no.” 

We know that setting boundaries for your time can be challenging, but if you change the way you look at things, you might find that it’s easier to say “no,” which can help you from feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and in some cases, resentful. Rather than “time,” think about the energy and space that something will take up in your life. Sure, a task might seemingly not take a lot of time when you first consider it, but when you imagine the amount of energy and space (in your brain, your home, your relationship…) that it might take, it’s easier to realize how overwhelming that might be. I’ll never forget Brené Brown’s approach to setting boundaries, which is reminding yourself that you’re choosing discomfort now, over resentment later.

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About our sponsor, Vrbo

Vrbo 2022 Trend Report for family travel | sponsor

We’re so excited to welcome back Vrbo as a sponsor, especially considering we’ve used them to find our own work-life balance (through time away with our families). This year, they’ve compiled some really fascinating data in their 2022 Trend Report that you might find interesting as you consider fitting time away into your own work-life journey.

With remote and hybrid work, families have been staying at vacation homes longer and being more flexible with travel dates. There has been a 68% increase in 3-4-week stays on Vrbo, and 44% of families are more likely to work remotely from a place that’s not their home. Despite this flexibility and ability to work from anywhere, 77% of families agree that they have a greater appreciation for separating professional and personal life compared to pre-pandemic times. In fact, 59% of families are more likely to take a 2-week vacation, with 30% more likely to take a sabbatical, which shows that quality time away with the people you love is more important than ever.

Whether you’re looking to get away completely, or are considering changing settings to help increase your productivity, head over to Vrbo to check out their entire 2022 Trend Report, or make a reservation for your next trip (tell us where you’re going!).

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3. Give yourself permission for space. 

We think that jam-packing our day makes us get more things done, but really, that can cause overwhelm, stress, and a whole lot of fatigue. This might look like different things for different people, but we need to change the narrative that doing nothing = lazy. Whether it’s forcing yourself to take an hour lunch break where you let yourself eat or taking a walk every evening in silence, it’s important that you have space away from the speedy parts of your life, without any distractions (that includes shows and podcasts and music, too!). Whatever you choose, make sure you add it to your calendar and block off that time.

4. Start a gratitude practice. 

Being grateful is one thing, but an actual gratitude practice can have positive effects on your relationships, your mood, your sleep… it’s pretty amazing. And honestly, it doesn’t necessarily require a lot of time or energy. Grab a journal or a notepad, and jot down a few things that you’re grateful for every day. Or you could do what our friend Nancy Davis Kho did and write thank you letters. The important part is that it becomes a consistent part of your every day.

Thanks so much to our sponsor Vrbo. Photo credit: Vrbo

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