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I'm not sure if this is a question that you can answer, but lately I've been having a terrible time trying to balance my work & family responsibilities. Actually I'm devoting far more time to work than I am to my family and I don't blame my wife for resenting my absence. On the other side, if I don't devote my time to work then I'll be out of a job and the family will be out on the streets with no income! This is not an option as far as I'm concerned. I look around and see hundreds of people I know who seem to be able to find this balance and I'd really like to know how do they do that?
Jack, thank you for submitting your question. The good news is that you are not alone. This is the never-ending struggle for most of us. If you normally default into workaholic mode, it is much easier to spend all your time working and you might even feel guilty about the times you’re not working. To truly enjoy a work-life balance, it is important to schedule in time for both. As you’re reading this, you’re already thinking…..easier said then done. So, start small. The key to making this doable is this: when you’re doing work activities, focus on the work. When you’re relaxing and enjoying your family, focus on them. What I find is that many individuals feel guilty that they are not working, when they are supposed to be relaxing and having fun. Remember, the old adage: work hard and play hard. Sounds like you have the working hard part perfected! Now, for the difficult transition: the rest of your life. Start by looking at your monthly schedule. One disclaimer: doing chores or taking care of infrastructure is not spending time with the family. What I mean is you want to spend quality time in your personal life. This takes a little extra effort with planning. For instance, schedule in a weekly date with your wife. If you just take a walk, or go get a little dinner, this will be worth its weight in gold. Yes, it requires a bit of planning, but just this little adjustment will make all the difference. Remember, your wife and your family really enjoy you! This is a good thing. They want to be around you. So, each week, if you just do one activity that’s fun for both of you, you’ll start feeling better. Next, look at the month - is there one bigger activity you can do with your family? The third thing is to plan your vacation. Even if you don’t go to a travel destination, build in some time off together into the schedule. One last thing to try: schedule an appointment with yourself each day. This can be 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or up to an hour. With all of your attention diverted to work and family, you will need a little attention to yourself. Use your appointment with yourself to do what you want to do. Remember, if you don’t put it on the schedule, it won’t happen. Happy scheduling!!!
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