The Top 10 Tips for Balancing Work and Family Life

There is no single formula for attaining a balanced life. It is a personal decision how one combines their career, spouse/significant other, children, friends and self into an integrated whole. The key is to develop creative solutions as you approach the challenges of balancing the responsibilities and joys of your multiple roles. Some of the same skills and strategies you use at work such as planning, organizing, communicating, setting limits and delegating can be used effectively on the home-front for achieving a satisfying, fulfilling and well-balanced life both personally and professionally.

1. Build a Support Network

Ask for help and allow yourself to be helped and contributed to. Get your children involved--work together as a team. Recruit friends, family, neighbors, bosses, work colleagues, etc. and ask for their support. Between work and family, surprises are inevitable. Be prepared by creating back-up and emergency plans; always have a contingency.

2. Let Go of Guilt

Guilt is one of the greatest wastes of emotional energy. It causes you to become immobilized in the present because you are dwelling on the past. Guilt can be very debilitating. By introducing logic to help counter-balance the guilt, you can avoid sabotaging your efforts toward work/family balance and stay better on course.

3. Establish Limits and Boundaries and Remember They are Necessary for Balancing Work and Family

Boundaries are an imaginary line of protection that you draw around yourself. They are about protecting you from other people's actions. Determine for yourself what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior from other people. Boundaries and limits define how you take charge of your time and space and get in touch with your feelings. They express the extent of your responsibilities and power and show others what you are willing to do or accept. Without limits it's difficult to say "no". Remind yourself often that your boundaries are necessary for balancing work and family.

4. Determine Your Own Standards

Get rid of the notion of being a perfectionist. Wean yourself off it by making compromises--figure out where the best places to make the compromises are without short-changing yourself, your spouse, your children, your boss, etc. Live by your own standards rather than someone else's. Standards are about YOU and refer to the behavior and actions you are willing to hold yourself to.

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