Balancing work and family
The world has increased its demand for performance, excellence and achievement to get the recognition and success of corporate life. Unfortunately, it comes at an expense of family time and social life. Many marriages and families have broken apart because of excessive engagement in work and neglecting family. Others have lost touch with friends, leisure and meaning in life because of the fixation with work related activities.
In the book boundaries, Henry Cloud and John Townsend strongly argue that parameters and limits are important for everything especially with work. They state that without clear boundaries, we risk losing our joy, happiness and purpose because we would say yes to everything and not decline any request. Reclaiming your happiness and state of well being demands a perfect balance between work and family to the effect of knowing what ought to be done at the appropriate time.
Balancing work and family begins by acknowledging that both are important and symbiotically related. We work to support our families and earn a respectable living.
Family gives meaning and fulfilment in life and gives value to our efforts. As such, a healthy balance must be maintained with the view that they are both important. Once this is clear, we then need to intentionally set time for family and work and strictly abide by those allotments.
Developing a discipline in time management and organisation enriches ones experience, increases employee engagement and enables one to be present in the lives of their spouses and children.
Over and above this advise of decidedly setting priorities and assigning time to them, there are routine best practises of making sure that boundaries are not encroached and that work and family balance is maintained. These are;
Priorities your time. With an endless list of ‘to do’ things at work, one ought to mark tasks as Urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent but not important and neither urgent nor important. This enables one to focus on the relevant tasks at a given time and preserve their family time.
Know your peaks and troughs. This means one needs to know themselves and their productivity cycles. Are you a morning person? Do you work better at the office? Do you need to have some colleagues around to concentrate? This knowledge will advise one on how they can allocate their time and when to get the best work and family balance.
Maximise your time. Once time is allocated, one needs to make sure they are productive at work and make sure it’s complete. Avoid doing overtime or encroaching into family time. Make sure that your work space works for you.
Utilise technology. Set reminders, alarms and calendars to bring to your remembrance the things you should do and when you should do them. Also deploy technology during work time for efficiency and effectiveness.
Get a coach. We may fail to get it right alone. However that does not mean that we can’t get help from others. If balancing work and family time remains a struggle, hire a coach to assist and commit to the goals set. Two is better than one.