Focus on Your Priorities
Knowing your priorities is the secret to work-family balance. Here is a guide to identifying and focusing on what's important in your life.
Know Your Values. Are generosity and service important to you? Spending time with friends and family? Taking a yearly family vacation? Knowing what you value will help you decide what should be important to you and what, in turn, you should focus on.
Make a List. List out what you feel is important. Make it a true brainstorming session - leave nothing off the list! Go through and rate each item with a 1 to 5, with 1 being not very important, 5 being extremely important. Aim to have no more than 5 top priorities to avoid burnout.
Get Input. Your priorities should line up with the priorities of your spouse, your kids, and the other important individuals in your life. Talk to your family about their priorities and how they all fit together.
Look at How You Spend Your Time. Now, analyze how you spend your time. What does your life say about your priorities and values? Where can you transfer time from current activities to your priorities?
Keep close track of how you spend your time for about a week. You will most likely be surprised at how much time you waste.
Schedule. Once you've identified your priorities, plan accordingly. Put a family vacation on the calendar; sign up to be a soccer coach; make time for family dinner each week. Building in these activities and habits will help you live out your priorities.
Set Reminders. Whether it's a post it note on the bathroom mirror or a list on your smartphone, keep your priorities in front of you as often as possible.
Review. Once a year, review your priorities. They will change as your kids grow and your family changes. Don't get stuck in old habits that no longer accomplish what's important.