Shemeka Brathwaite, MSED is a peak performance strategist, keynote speaker, and coach. She is often invited by organizations, associations, and educational institutions to provide inspiring programs on productivity, leadership, and executive presence. Her immersive training programs help professionals learn how to implement new systems that streamline the demands on one’s time, so they can achieve more at work, increase their influence, and live intentionally.
It’s the age-old struggle: how do you balance your work and family in a way that makes you feel fulfilled and guilt-free. Is it possible?
A typical day could be 8 hours at work and 2 hours commuting, yet family leisure time hasn’t even begun! It seems like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to balance both family and work, but there really are ways to make your life more manageable. With a few simple tweaks to your schedule and a re-evaluation of your life goals, you can find fulfillment without feeling stretched thin at work or at home.
Evaluate Your Career Path
The best 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 am 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. 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 change of career to allow for more quality time, money, or less overall responsibilities and stress.
Evaluate Your Commute and Career-Related Traveling
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. Commuting could cost you a couple 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 you employer if they would allow you more freedom with your work hours. Or you could ask if your boss would allow you to work from home. You just may be surprised with what your boss has to say!
Evaluate Your Career Duties
By evaluating your task schedule, 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 handle everything in your department, it’s time to get help by involving others. By delegating responsibilities to staff members, you not only empower your staff to have a more active role, but you also allow yourself more time to be home with your family.
Evaluate Your Priorities
Before you are able to adequately balance your work and family life, you have to determine what’s most important to you: money and self-fulfillment or time with your family. Once you know the answer to this question, you’ll be able to better navigate your way to a happy and balanced life.
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 will never give you that 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 job at a different company.
Few people duck out of the rat race long enough to evaluate the bigger picture, this is why it’s integral to stop now and evaluate what is most important to you and your family.
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