Few leaders step back from their responsibilities long enough to evaluate how well they balance time between their work and family. But, with the challenges the world has faced over the past two-plus years, if you haven’t done so, it’s essential to stop now and assess what’s most important to you and your family.
It’s the age-old struggle: how do you balance your work and family, so you feel both fulfilled and guilt-free at the same time. Is it possible?
Your typical day could be 8 hours at work and 2 hours commuting, yet family leisure time hasn’t even begun! There aren’t enough hours in the day to balance both family and work, but there are ways to make your life more manageable. With a few simple changes to your schedule and a re-evaluation of your life goals, you can find fulfillment without feeling stretched thin at work or home.
One way to start changing how you approach the limited hours in your day is to evaluate your career path. Ask yourself: “Am I working in a career that I’m truly passionate about? Is the trade-off between work and family worth the time I spend at the office?”
Asking yourself these types of questions (at any point in your career) will help you keep your priorities in check. But, of course, the bottom-line question is: am I able to attend to both my work and my family? If not, what needs to happen to find balance? Perhaps this means a career change to allow for more quality time, money, or less overall responsibilities and stress.
Start thinking of all the time and expenses incurred relating to your job. It isn’t just the working hours that take away from your spouse or kids. For example, commuting could cost you a couple of hours a day, while business trips could take away countless hours of valuable time that you could otherwise be spending with your family.
Evaluating these aspects of your job will help you decide whether it’s worth it and, if not, what you could do to change that. For example, you could ask your employer if they would allow you more freedom with your work hours. Or you could ask if your organization would allow you to work from home. You just may be surprised by what you may be able to negotiate!
By evaluating your tasks, you may be able to re-allocate your time and possibly cut down on late nights or early mornings at the office. Another important workplace strategy is to delegate tasks to others.
If you typically try to handle everything in your organization, it’s time to get help by involving others. By delegating responsibilities to team members, you empower them to have a more active role, allowing yourself more time to be home with your family.
You may also want to calculate how much money your family needs to be happy and measure that against how much time you are willing to give to your career.
If your current job never gives you the balance or flexibility you desire, it may mean that you need to consider other career paths. Or, if your current employer won’t allow more vacation time, flexible schedules, or remote work, it may be time to consider a new role in a different organization.
“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”-Stephen R. Covey
Before balancing your work and family life adequately, you must determine what’s most important: money and self-fulfillment or time with your family. Once you know the answer to this question, you’ll better navigate your way to a happy and balanced life.
Is your work and family life in balance?
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