Everyone wants to have a beautiful family life and a successful career but not everyone is blessed with both. Some lines of work require most people to be out a lot, like a land surveyor, a roughneck, or even a serviceman. While it’s understandable that people like them will have a harder time maintaining a work-life balance, most of us really have no excuse.
Don’t neglect yourself.
If you’ve ever boarded a plane then you’re somehow familiar with their pre-flight routine where the flight attendants give certain instructions. These instructions may be taken lightly or completely ignored especially by frequent flyers. But if you’re a first-timer, you paid close attention to what they had to say because it could mean the difference between life and death, especially in an emergency.
One of their standard precautions is when the air pressure inside the cabin drops, oxygen masks will be made accessible to you. If you’re traveling with a child, it is advised that you put your mask on first.
It makes sense really. You’re not neglecting the child but you’re ensuring that you are in good physical condition to help and assist.
Similarly, when it comes to both your family and business, you need to ensure that you’re fit to handle the responsibilities — physically, mentally, and emotionally. When you have a family, it’s so easy to say that you’re willing to sacrifice your personal comforts but ideal and noble as that may sound, it is not wise to neglect your needs. You cannot take good care of your family or business if you are not fully functional as a person.
Set aside time for yourself to do the things that you want and enjoy the things that you like. You don’t have to feel guilty about it. Just don’t go overboard. Balance is the key.
Ask for more help than you need.
Any entrepreneur knows how challenging it is to manage and run a business. Any parent knows how demanding family life is and that parenting is, in itself, a full-time job. Anyone who’s both an entrepreneur and a parent knows how overwhelming it is.
Entreps are idealists and, often, perfectionists. They want to solve everything concerning their business. If they ask for help, they think it might damage their reputation and their competitors and staff might see them as weak.
Similarly, parents feel they need to be on top of their children’s affairs. The moment they ask for some assistance, they feel guilty about not doing everything they can for their children.
There’s no harm in asking for help if it ensures greater productivity. Delegate tasks that other people can do at work and focus on the things that only you can do.
In the same breath, if you need help from your spouse, relative, or neighbors in taking care of your children or of some things around the house, it’s okay. They will understand and won’t look at you any differently.
If you’re a single parent, list down some names of people you can talk to and ask for help from. A little help goes a long way.
Don’t mix up time for work and time for play.
We’re living in an ultra-connected world that makes it even more challenging to resist the urge to keep working. Emails, phone calls, text messages, and video calls can easily be carried out to get work done even on a weekend.
Some people try to get away with it but in the end, the ones that suffer are their family.
When you’re at home, leave your work behind. The moment that you step outside your office, do not think of work until the next time you set foot in it.
Easier said than done, we know. But it can be done.
Talk to your spouse and create a calendar for work, for family, and for yourself. Hold yourself accountable for it. This will help you avoid getting burned out quickly. The rest and relaxation brought about by enjoying your personal time will make you more productive and focused at work.
Make your family your motivation.
Once you have a family, you need to renew your mindset that everything you do revolves around you. It’s no longer the case, especially when the children start to come. Your world begins to revolve around them.
This causes friction between work and family life. If the pendulum swings one way, the other side is compromised. So how do you manage both work and family without compromising the other?
Make your family your priority and motivation.
If you know what your priorities are at home, it’s easier for you to identify your priorities at work and eliminate all the distractions that waste precious time. You report to work with laser-like focus because your goal is to not take away time from your family by working on reports and documents that were bumped off because you wasted time at work.
Make your family be your drivers for success. Don’t do it for your personal gain. A change in perspective is needed. Instead of working hard to get a promotion, look at it as a way to provide a better life for your family.
Sometimes a change in perspective is all that’s needed.
Managing both family and work can be overwhelming, to say the least. But it is never an impossibility to succeed in both aspects. With the right motivation, priorities, and help, you can enjoy a beautiful family life and still be very productive in the workplace.
Who says you can’t have the best of both worlds?