Finding the delicate balance between work and life isn’t just a problem for working mothers; fathers too, struggle. It has been said, time and again, that good fathers provide, nurture and guide but today most family men have warped the idea as they concentrate so much on building their careers at the expense of their families. It is imperative for fathers to give their families priority no matter how demanding one’s vocation is. Here’s how you can achieve and maintain work-life balance.

Have your priorities and commit to them: This will help you to place the most important things in your life first. Some of the central things in life are family, work, sleep, friendships and exercise. You need to put time to each of these on a weekly basis but in amounts appropriate to whatever season of your life you are in.

Build a support network: Ask for help and allow yourself to be helped. This is a call to delegate duties since you can’t be everywhere and you can’t do everything at the same time no matter how good you are at multitasking. For instance, identify the strengths of your colleagues at work and delegate work to them. Just handle the most important tasks especially if you are the team leader. If you are an entrepreneur, hire people who can do more than one job. At home, get actively involved in your children’s lives and do house chores together as a team as this will see you spend more time with them unlike when you work alone.

Create and organise a family calendar: Figure out family priorities. A calendar can include dates when bills are due, a chore chart for the kids, a list of school and family events, extracurricular activities, birthdays and more. You can also develop a habit of setting aside 15 minutes each Sunday to review and prepare for the upcoming week’s schedule. This will help to eliminate surprises during the week. It would be wise to share your calendar with your family and nanny so that everyone is up to date on activities.

Set your own standards: Get rid of the notion of being a perfectionist for no one really is. Wean yourself off it by making compromises; figure out where to compromise without short changing yourself, your spouse, your children or your boss. Live by your own standards rather than someone else’s; but do not settle for mediocrity.

Create moments for yourself: By managing time wisely, you can fit in valuable “me” time regularly. A refreshing break will help you recharge while taking care of personal needs. Because your time is divided between your home and your career, make sure to manage your energy well. You can’t be an effective spouse, parent, employee, and businessman if you are cranky, so take time to take care of yourself and to relax. Treat yourself to a spa day, go to the gym or engage in your hobby. Remember to eat well and get enough rest.

Make your boundaries clear: It isn’t easy, especially in some jobs, but setting clear boundaries between work activities, family and even personal time can be effective approach to balancing work and home. Often, it is the quality of the time we spend not the quantity that makes the difference. And there is strong evidence that our ability to stay focussed on the present rather than worrying about the past or what we have to do next is important for our happiness.

May 2016