If you’re like half of today’s employees, at some point you’ve brought your work home. A streamlined workforce, tight deadlines and the need to combat staff reductions may have you deeming this a necessary – if not logical move. But you may be wrong.

Bringing work home can cause more stress, as well as interfere with personal – not to mention family life. But how can you combat the new stresses in the workplace and leave them at the door? You may not have a choice. Consider the following.

Being overworked – especially an overworked parent – can create more chaos than harmony. Less time with kids and more time distracted, can lead to disharmony at home.

The best approach is to carve out time between work and family life – even if the two sometimes need to mix. Allotting a specific amount of time – or periods of the day – that are solely dedicated to family can prevent any discord, as well as reduce stress.

Sometimes it’s OK to just say “no” – While our first instinct may be to say “yes” to every work-related project today, sometimes the best approach is to say “no” – “or it can wait until tomorrow.” Allowing yourself downtime between work and family will not only help maintain harmony at home, but can go a long way in rejuvenating yourself mentally. We can’t and shouldn’t be expected to work 24/7, and allowing for downtime will help both personally – and professionally.

It’s best to transition from work to home –

This may mean winding down on the commute home, taking five minutes to un-wind when arrive at your front door, or making a family rule that certain hours at the end of your work-day are “off limits.” Whatever your strategy, be sure to give yourself some downtime between work and home so that when it’s time to re-enter your family life, you are fully engaged – and available.

Sometimes the best laid plans are meant to be broken – There will come a day – or days – when your need to delineate between family life and work life are not possible. Accept this and move on. While we encourage you to stick to a stratagem that will maintain house-hold harmony, recognizing that family obligations can sometimes interfere with work needs, and vice versa, can better help you deal with day to day stresses.

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