Is It Possible to Balance Your Work and Family Life?

It’s the never ending question that we struggle with:  How do I balance my work and my family life in such a way that makes me feel fulfilled and guilt-free. Is it even possible?

An average day could be 8 hours at the workplace and 1-2 (or more) hours commuting, and your family leisure time hasn’t even begun! It always seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day to balance both family and work, but there are ways to make your life far more manageable. With a few simple adjustments to your daily schedule, and a serious look at your life goals, you can find fulfillment without feeling stretched to your limits at work or at home.


Take a Serious Look at Your Chosen Career Path

The best way to start changing how you approach the limited hours in your day is to take a serious look at your career path. To begin, you must ask yourself, “Am I working in a career that I am truly passionate about? Is the trade-off between work and family worth the amount of time I spend at my office?”

Asking yourself these questions throughout your career will help keep your priorities in check. The bottom line question is this:  “Am I able to fully devote myself to both my work and my family?”  If not, what needs to change or happen in order for me to find that balance?  It might mean a change of career to give you more quality time or less overall responsibility at your current job.

Consider Your Daily Commute and Career-Related Traveling

It isn’t just the working hours that take away from the time you spend with your family. Your daily commute can cost you several hours a day, while business trips can easily take away countless hours of time that you could 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 might be able to do in order to change that. As an example, you might consider asking your employer if they would allow you more flexibility regarding your work hours. You might even consider asking your boss if he or she would allow you to work from home on certain days of the week. With computerization in the workplace and the desire for employers to go green, you may be pleasantly surprised with what your boss has to say!

Analyze Your Career Duties

By analyzing your daily work schedule, you may be able to re-allocate your time and possibly cut down on late nights or early mornings at the office. If you typically handle everything in your department, it’s time to get help by involving others. Delegating responsibilities to staff members not only empowers your staff to have a more active role and the opportunity to grow, but it frees up more of your time to spend with your family.

Assess Your Priorities

Before you are able to balance your work and family life, you must determine what is most important to you –  money and self-fulfillment or time with your family. Once you have honestly answered this question, you will be able to get on the path to a happier and more balanced life.

You will need to calculate how much money your family needs to be comfortable and measure that against how much time you are willing to devote to your career. If your current job will never result in giving you that balance or the flexibility you desire, it may mean that you should consider other career paths. Or, if your current employer won’t agree to a flex schedule, telecommuting or additional vacation time, it may be time to consider a new job at a different company.

Few people duck out of the rat race long enough to evaluate the bigger picture.  If you are serious about wanting to make this change for the better, stop now and evaluate what is most important to you and your family.

Susan Karim

Time Management and Personal Effectiveness Coach

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