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Secrets To Balancing Work And Family Life

Secrets To Balancing Work And Family Life

Conflict between work and family life is one of the most common sources of stress for working adults. In this productivity-driven society that we are living in, more and more people are finding it hard to adequately fulfill their roles both at home and at the workplace. More often than not, workers are unable to find a point of balance between their careers and their families — there is always one that is given more priority than the other. This behavior has been associated with a number of dysfunctional outcomes — strained familial relationships, inefficiency at work, and poor physical and mental health.

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balancing work and family life

    Hence, it is very important that we are able to achieve balance between our work and our family life. This may seem to be a very daunting task, but a lot of people have already done it, so there shouldn’t be any reason that you can’t do the same. I myself have struggled to balance my career and personal life for a time, but eventually I was able to find success. Allow me to share with you how I did it:

    I made the decision to find balance.

    Achieving work-family life balance is a long and often daunting process. If you do not make the conscious decision to achieve balance, it is likely that you will fail along the way. I have learned through my experience that it is very important to make an effort to provide the yourself opportunity for balance. For instance, you need to find yourself a job that is challenging but not overwhelming; also carefully think about how big of a family you can responsibly raise at the moment. By making wise decisions on the most important matters in your life, attaining balance won’t be a difficult thing.

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    I involved people I trust in the process.

    I used to think that I was the only one who could solve my work versus family life conundrum.  But over time, I realized that there is no way for me to get things right if I only rely on what I know–or at least think I know. So I made it a point to regularly discuss with my husband and children their perceptions, opinions, and even objections with my work. This opened my eyes to a lot of things and made me better of aware of the issues that I needed to deal with and improve. I also made sure that the entire family understood my obligations and responsibilities at work. Thus, there was also more understanding on their part.

    I established limits and boundaries between family and work.

    It is important that we create boundaries or imaginary lines of protection between your work and family. This means determining which actions are acceptable and unacceptable. Boundaries hold the line to protect your work from the distraction of family, as well as protect your family involvement from the obligations at work. With clear boundaries, it would be easier for you to tell when your action is not in favor of one aspect of your life.

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    I accepted that imbalance is sometimes unavoidable.

    With my struggle to attain the perfect balance between work and family, I was able to realize that there will always be times that I will have to let work or family take priority. It would be impossible to perfectly balance everything in your life at all times. For example, when one family member is sick, you may need to skip a work event; or when an important deadline must be met, you might need to miss dinner at home and stay working in the office late. 

    The dilemma of balancing family and work has no easy solution. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every person and family must find specific solutions to their issues depending on their own preferences and needs. But basically, a balance between work and family occurs when a person is able to sufficiently meet family commitments and adequately perform responsibilities at work. There is nothing wrong with working hard to gain some of the finer things in life, but you should also not forget the worth of the things and people that really matter most.

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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