How To Balance Your Work and Family
1. Commit your goals and objectives to writing. Create a visual image or visual representation of your goal(s)
Writing down your goals in concrete and measurable terms formalizes your commitment to yourself and helps you articulate and see each step towards success. Visualize yourself at your graduation, or working in a new position with expanded responsibilities.
2. Value your own needs -- personal and professional -- as highly as the needs of others
While making a commitment to meet each family member`s needs you also need to learn to value and articulate your own needs and goals; and, others need a chance to give you their support. Remember, although you may feel selfish at the moment, in the long run every one in the family will benefit from your accomplishments.
3. Stay focused on the benefits that additional education brings to you, your family, and your employer
Realizing your personal goals will benefit you and your family. By returning to school you are providing your children with a positive role model and yourself with an opportunity to grow intellectually and professionally, and to be more fulfilled as a person. By becoming more marketable you are also making yourself an asset to your current or future employer, and better able to command a higher salary.
4. Learn to compartmentalize your various roles. Utilize good time management skills and develop step-by-step action plans for your projects
Develop a time management strategy that includes prioritizing items on each of your "to do" lists. Since each of your roles is important to you, work at keeping each role separate and distinct. Link each of your goals to action steps with specific time frames, and breaking down each assignment into easy to accomplish steps.
5. Think flexibly -- about your time and your standards - and strive for compromise
Try to determine the best times for you to study and attend school. Explore flexibility in your child care plans, your work schedule, and the schedules of others in your life. Decide where you can let go of perfection in your relationships and in your responsibilities. For instance, perhaps your home can be cleaned less often and less thoroughly, or you don`t need to attend every birthday party your child`s invited to.
6. Learn to delegate
Learning how to ask for help, how to say no, and to set limits on yourself is critical if you are going to manage your time and stay on track. If you have a spouse/partner tell them how they can help you accomplish your goals; be sure they know that you value their help. Children want and need to feel that they play a role in helping the family work better - assign age-appropriate tasks to children such as making their own lunch, washing the dishes, or picking up their toys. If you can afford it, consider hiring someone to clean your apartment, do you laundry, or buy takeout for dinner.