Do you check your work e-mail while on vacation or on the weekend? Glance at your cell phone multiple times an hour to make sure you didn’t miss a call? Find yourself apologizing to family for being late due to an “emergency” at work? Experience sleepless nights or anxious dreams about work? If you answered yes to these questions, it may be time for a change.
For many of us, work is the focal point of our lives simply because we spend so much time doing whatever it is we do to pay the bills or to fulfill a passion. But consider this – what would your life be like if you no longer had your job? How would you spend your time? Who would you talk to? How would you feel? It is important to ponder these things to define what your values are. If you feel you need a shift in work/family balance, consider these tips:
- Schedule time with your family. Honor that time by turning off your phone, laptop, and iPad.
- Leave work at work. Prioritize your to-do list. Delegate what/when you can.
- Take the long way home from work. This will allow time to decompress and let go of some stress. While driving home, work on relaxing instead of thinking about things you did not get done. Listen to quiet music, breathe deeply and focus on nature as you drive.
- Schedule exercise. You may want to take a walk as soon as you get home to further relieve stress and prepare for time with your family or friends.
- Use your vacation. Use it all. Do not bring work with you.
- Limit work on your days off and on holidays. Learn the difference between an ultra-critical work emergency that requires your attention and curiosity about what is happening in your absence.
- Attend as many family events as you can.
Remember that the role you play at work is not the only role you have in life. Your family needs you!