Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tips To Improving Work and Family Balance

Tips To Improving Work and Family Balance

Finding the right balance between work and family is a difficult and ongoing challenge for all working parents. If you're struggling with the demands of work and family, the following ideas and suggestions may help:

The most important thing to know
Work and family don't "balance" automatically. Achieving balance is an on-going process that
takes careful listening and communication, planning, joint-decision making and effort.Understanding this can reduce frustration and help you take the actions necessary to create and maintain the right work-family balance for you.

First things first
First and foremost, clarify your values and use them as your guide for planning and making choices regarding work and family demands.

Ask yourself these questions:
◗What is most important in your life?
◗What gives your life meaning?
◗What do you want to be and to accomplish in your life?
Clarity on these issues is critical because the answers to these questions affect everything else
in your life - especially the decisions you make regarding work and family and the way you spend
your time.

Establish priorities
There is not enough time to spend doing things that aren't important to you or your family. Identify
your various roles and attach a level of priority to each. Make sure you are putting your time and
energy into only those things that are truly most important to you.

Make a plan
Discuss work and family balance with your partner on an on-going basis. Develop a plan that
integrates your individual and mutual goals with the responsibilities and issues of work and family.
Start from a macro perspective that includes your values and goals and work toward a micro view
that describes in detail the roles and responsibilities for each family member.

Discuss expectations
Unspoken expectations and assumptions about how things "should" be done are often the cause
of work, family and relationship conflict and stress. When our partner or others do not meet our
expectations, often we feel hurt or anger. To avoid upset and improve work-life balance, discuss
with your partner what you want and expect of each other. In particular, discuss your expectations
and attitudes about the following: housework, house maintenance, meal preparation and meal
times, child care, elder care, parenting roles and parent involvement, the nature and amount of couple and family time, time devoted to work and career, money or financial issues.
Involve the whole family
Make sure your family knows that their needs take a high priority despite the demands of your job. Talk about the difficulties of meeting work and family responsibilities and let other family members try to help find solutions. Children can also be given tasks that will help the family accomplish what needs to be done. This sharing of tasks not only teaches children responsibility but also gives them a sense of belonging.

Share responsibilities
Divide parenting and household tasks appropriately among family members. Be sure that everyone
in your family understands that household tasks are a responsibility for all family members to tackle.
Organize the division of labor with your partner so that you each cover those tasks that are the easiest
and most enjoyable for you to accomplish. Make a list of "don't-want-to-do" items that are aversive, a waste your time, or sap your energy. Delegate these tasks or consider paying for some services to be done.

Bolster productivity at work
Organize your work life to maximize your productivity and minimize workplace distractions or productive work habits. If you're putting in long hours at work are you making your time count? Working long hours causes stress that often finds relief naturally through workplace distractions or procrastination. Learn to better manage your time at work and avoid procrastination. Not only can you create more time for amily, but you'll find that you're less stressed and performing better at work.

Keep clear boundaries
Whether you are at work or home, do your best to stay fully invested in that place during that time. If you are at home with your family, set aside thoughts of work, turn off your cell phone or Blackberry, and give your full attention to your family. Spend some time each day with your partner and each child. Even if it is only for a few minutes, talk, read or participate in an activity together. Everyone, including you, will feel refreshed and loved in such a positive environment.

Recognize the benefits of balance
Balancing the demands of work and family will have positive pay-offs for your children, your relationships with your spouse/partner and children, and everyone's future happiness. Recognizing this can help you keep in mind the critical need for balance in
your life.
Copyright © 2010 Sum-Bo-Shine, Inc.. All rights
reserved. This newsletter is not intended to provide medical advice on personal wellness matters, which should be obtained directly from your physician.

No comments: