For many parents the last few weeks have included the Half Term holidays. Some parents are fortunate enough to be able to negotiate working hours that fit in with the School holidays. Whilst others struggle to balance their work and family life. This constant struggle to fit it all in can lead to feelings of guilt, anxiety and stress. So what can be done to create the right balance?
If the continual feelings of being torn between your work and family life are causing distress, an honest evaluation of each of the following can help to put things into perspective and possibly lead to change:
Your chosen career
How important is the career that you have chosen? If you’re really passionate about it and passionate about time with your family and your interests, you’ll need to think about how you can make it work. Alternatively, if you are disillusioned about your career and the adverse effect it’s having on you and your work and family life. It might be time to think of other options. What could you do that provides you with the balance and peace of mind that you crave.
Time spent travelling
Often it isn’t our job that causes us stress and long hours away from home but the travelling to get there and sometimes travel related to the work we do. Our roads are busier than ever and travelling by public transport isn’t always that straight forward. Therefore, travel time can really eat into our time outside of work. An evaluation of whether we could do the same job closer to home or whether there is the option to work from home a few days a week needs to take place. If either is a real possibility it could relieve some of the guilt and stress you’re feeling.
The tasks you do
Sometimes we can try to do too much, causing us unnecessary stress. Look at the tasks you do every day and whether someone else within your department (or outside of your company) could possibly do some of them instead. This in turn may enable you to concentrate on what you’re good at. It could also allow you to cut down on early starts and late finishes, so that you can spend more time with your family.
If you really are struggling to the get the right balance between your work and family life. It inevitably comes down to priorities. What are your priorities? Is it money? If it is, time with your family may have to be sacrificed. If your family and interests are more important than money and you feel that you could have a perfectly decent lifestyle on less money but more time, you need to evaluate exactly how much money you need to live on and what needs to change, you might be able to go part-time or job share.
Constantly evaluating your work and family life balance can help you to deal with the nagging guilt that we often feel when we’re trying to do everything but end up letting people down. Your days are limited to 24 hours, so how you allocate that time is important.
If you would like more information on how to get the balance right. You may be interested in my Best selling book ‘Business Owners: Your Family misses You’ Available in print and Kindle Versions
What tips do you have to get the right balance between your work and family life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Till Next Time
Mike Gardner – The Time Doctor