Balancing work and family is quickly becoming something that we all ignore. We take the family for granted and end up focusing all our energies at work – and by the time we realize either we are too old to make amends or there is no family left to make amends.
Let me assure you that to ensure a good career-family balance you don’t need to take drastic steps. Just small adjustments can result in big impacts. Do note that these tips come from my experience of working long hours and yet managing my time with my family.
So, what can we do to ensure career-work-life balance?
1. Morning Moment with Family
When I wake up in the morning, I am surrounded by my family members – my wife and kids. I stay awake and we get into small chit-chat. Especially on topics from previous day which got missed because I was late from office.
This is also the time I express my gratitude for having such a great family – sometimes to myself and sometimes to any family member who can understand. This gratitude helps me reach my home early in the evening because I know a nice, happy family is eagerly waiting for me.
2. Morning Activity with Family
This can be any activity but is done with the family members. Over the years this has kept on changing for me – first it was drinking tea and eating biscuits with family, then we read books (me fiction & my daughter her school books) every day in the morning for half hour, and now-a-days my wife and I do a bit of stretching exercises.
Whatever it is, do plan an activity that you do in the morning, with your family. This will keep you focussed on your work once you reach office – because you know you didn’t leave your family the moment you got up.
When this activity is happening, have a playlist which is always played ONLY with the family.
3. Play the Family Playlist in office
You can create overlaps for yourself by playing in office the Playlist reserved for the family. Helps you feel closer to them, and also acts as a reminder that there is a family back home waiting for you to reach early.
4. Mid-day phone call back home
I always make sure of calling my wife and asking her about the kids – at least once a day. The best time is around 2 pm, when everybody has had lunch and there is enough to talk about. These calls can begin with “Was just thinking about you…and thought will give you a ring.”
This will also calm your nerves down before a big meeting.
5. Buffer Moment
We all deal with a lot at work and at times might get irritated or annoyed. The same applies to our families too – when we were away they were also slogging at different things. Both the parties need a buffer zone to switch of one mode and switch on the other – so take it easy during this buffer zone period. This helps you leave office at office and shift into the family mode.
6. Dinner Time devoid of TV & Mobile
Have an early dinner with family – a dinner which doesn’t involve a mobile phone or a Television. This is important else there is no point having dinner together. Focus on your family, discuss topics that mean something to them, ask your kids what they did at school etc.
If you follow these six rules for a career family or work family balance…let me assure you that you are sorted. You will be a happy employee.