“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life”.
Ever say or hear someone say, “I just don’t have time to spend with my family, friends, and for myself?” I know I have, I still say it. As we become professionals our professions consume more and more of our time. Our work/family balance goes out of sync, and this isn’t a good thing.
For some, they try juggling work and their personal life by multi-tasking.
Yes, it’s true, we do need to be able to multitask, but we can’t juggle. This may lead to failures as a parent, a spouse, even as a CEO. This is the 2nd most popular question I get asked, “Josh, how do you balance work and personal?”
The answer is a lot easier than it sounds and it is not difficult to accomplish.
The answer is to be “all in.”
What I mean is, while you’re working, be “all in” with your job.
But while you’re with your family, be “all in” with your family.
How you measure your success is very different from the work place and home. You might spend 10hrs at work working on an important project that has a deadline. You literally throw yourself into the work. Close the door, grab your team, forego food… well still have food, but you know what I mean. And in those 10hrs you get the job done!
Now you come home and the type of time you spend with your family is how you can be measured. For me, when I get home (yes, I still have a full time job that I LOVE and work at it by choice), it is often late. I may only get to see my 2 1/2 year old daughter for a few minutes before she goes to bed. But in those few minutes we have spent the absolute best quality time imaginable for my daughter.
I did not think of work. I did not work on my project in those minutes.
I was 200% dad.
That is going “all in.”
A healthy balance between your family and work will make you better at both. Here are 8 tips that have worked for me to strike that perfect balance between work and family.
1. Schedule Your Family time
Yes, really, mark on your calendar “family” time. Just like the time you put in with your job, set aside time that is 100% dedicated to spending with your family. Unfortunately, our hectic work days can interfere with our personal lives. Try to distance the two from each other, or pick the appropriate time to mix the two. Having a fixed schedule for each day will give you, your partner or any other family members or even pets something to look forward to.
They need your care, attention and time.
So give time to them, their needs and interests. If it is a dinner together then also it is much better than nothing. Try to avoid discussing work topics during this time. Concentrate on their needs and thoughts. Sometime just a small change in the way you view things can make a difference. Set your priorities in order. Plan holidays. Surprise your significant other. Put your heart and soul into your work only during office hours.
2. Dedicate Yourself To the Job at Hand
It is very important and meaningful to dedicate yourself to whatever it is you’re doing. When you’re at home, you’re spending time with your family. Or, dedicate as much quality time as you can for your family. This is because, as we all know, our boss may ask us to work late, or redo something that interferes with our family time. So if you know this is going to happen, make the time up another way, but keep that balance.
In the laptop lifestyles we lead today, it’s so easy to come home from work, take out the computer and start checking emails. I think we’re all guilty of this. Hold off for a few minutes if you can. Ask your family, friends, your pet “how was your day?” Help your children with there homework. Help your wife make the bed or your husband clean the dishes (or vice-versa?). Have dinner as a family. Leave work aside for this time.
3. Learn to Say “No” To Your Boss
There are certain circumstances where your family needs you most and you are also being pressured with your official work. In these kinds of circumstances, sometimes you need to say “no” to your boss. But I caution here that if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of “work” you have with either your job or persona life, think carefully before saying “yes” to anything else. If you know you must be somewhere, saying “yes” to your boss may not be the right thing to do.
If you are someone who agrees to do tasks or take on responsibilities only to regret it later, learning the art of saying ‘no’ sometimes could prove invaluable. It is not a sign of weakness to recognize when you simply can’t do something. However, for such a small word, it can be very difficult to say.
Say politely “No” before you take up additional work for which you feel overwhelmed.
But please, please, make sure you think it through before saying it. You know your situation best.
4. An “Attitude” for The Right Situation
A very important way of ensuring a balance in your work/personal lives is separate how you approach your situation with the right attitude. The way you work with your colleagues and boss is probably not how you would communicate with your family.
Further, it is important to focus on the task at hand. Try not to overwhelm yourself. As things come to your plate, tackle them, manage them, and then move on. By concentrating on one thing at a time, you can start to see progress in the various areas of your life and achieve things incrementally, without getting daunted by the a weight too big.
5. Identify. Plan. Act.
Take out a piece of paper and jot down everything you think you need to do for that day. Next you need to prioritize what is the most important and what decisions will be needed to be made. Without priorities then everything seems urgent and nothing will get done.
From that list circle the things that must get done during the day and set time aside to just work on those tasks.
Once you’ve been able to identify those prioritized tasks, it’s time to establish a plan that allows you to accomplish those priorities. Just like cooking a family dinner. If you know the soup take 15 min to make but the chicken takes 1hr, and the salad 5 minutes, you would start the chicken first, then the soup and finally the salad. Then everything is finished at the same time.
Once you’ve established the game plan, execute it so you make those goals. Here on Your Online Coach, we want to help you establish a living where you can, if you want, fire your boss and live more financially comfortably than before. Each day you’d want to identify a list of tasks that allow you to achieve that goal. Today may be setting up an email campaign, a landing page, and responding to your subscribers. You know you have 100 emails to read, but do they all need to be responded too immediately?
Stick to the plan and before you know it things will be streamlined and work super smoothly.
6. Sharing is Caring
While creating your plan make sure to share it with both your family and office. Discuss what your needs are, your families, friends, your coworkers and what tasks need to be accomplished. If you know your brother is getting married in 2 months, make sure your boss knows you’re requesting a day off. If you know you need to stay late, make sure your family knows you’ll be working late that evening.
By being transparent and communicating, these are the keys for building understanding, appreciation, and flexibility. I’d even suggest making this a normal routine, sharing especially with your family about your goals, current projects, long-term visions, and so forth. This also allows your family to know more about what is going on in your work life and can offer support when and how they can.
7. Open Conversations About Needs
Professionalism is a unique journey for the growth and development of your career. But this doesn’t mean that you entirely focus on your profession at the cost of everything. There is another part of life also. Do not be a workaholic. Professionals have distinct goals, headaches and fears. To ensure that and those around you are all-receiving and providing support, have an open conversation about needs.
Maybe it’s essential to your sanity that you come home and talk through the stresses of work life; maybe you prefer to come home and completely unplug and unwind. Whatever your needs are, be honest and lay them out, but also similarly understand that your family, friends, or partner have needs, too. Having an open conversation about everyone’s needs will help you come to agreement about what will work best for the whole.
Are you already a “workaholic” and looking to break that 9-5 and work those 2hrs a day, from the comfort of your home? Making more than you did before? Then click here and break free of the rat-race!
8. The Gears of Life
Always keep in mind that we work to live, not live to work. It may seem a bit daunting in the beginning to strike that work/personal balance in your life, but a little effort goes a long way. Sometimes all it takes is a little toss of the stone in the pond to create the ever lasting ripples of change in your life.
Putting in the time now to enjoy as much as can you is vital to a happy life. Make sure to get enough sleep every day. Make sure to eat a healthy diet. And exercise. All of these gears of life help you push the boundaries of maintaining your balance of a work life and personal life.
And on a side note, everyone of us is different. For some, that 9-5 day then family in the evening is the perfect balance. Others work from 6am-8pm but then a little time in the evening for family is the balance for them. It’s about quality and finding the right balance that works for you!