Strive For Balance Between Work And Family

Posted on December 1, 1998 by Sara Eastwood-McLean, LCT Publisher

It’s that time of year when many people take stock in their lives, reassess their goals, set priorities, and begin to think about their New Year’s resolution.

In fact, I’m doing this very thing. As most of you know, this past September my husband and Iwelcomed our first child into the world. Since work has always been our number one priority, family was pushed to the back burner — until now. We’re both in our mid-30s, so there wasn’t much time to procrastinate.

Now, two workaholics sit around the coffee table at night transfixed by this amazing little person. And to think, we almost missed out on this entire experience because we were overly obsessed with our jobs!

We both still thoroughly enjoy our work. However, our priorities have now shifted. It’s important to obtain a sense of balance between family and work so we don’t miss experiencing those “magical moments” that children bring.

As a chauffeured transportation operator, you work in a crazy and demanding world where you’re required to give perfect service 100 percent of the time. It’s very easy to get “sucked in” by all the chaos and forget about what’s most important in your life — family. Most entrepreneurs lack the ability to achieve a balance. They often learn the hard way.

As you make your “to do” list for 1999, try to simplify your day-to-day work life. Find ways to streamline your business so you have the time and energy at the end of EACH day to spend with your family, pursue healthy relationships, or participate in extracurricular activities. Moderation is the toughest habit for a workaholic to learn.

Start by stopping the busy work — the nonproductive time we spend making unnecessary phone calls, cleaning out our desks, getting another cup of coffee, organizing schedules, and so forth. Strive to work less and enjoy it more. Schedule your day to end one hour earlier and stick to it.

Prioritize phone calls. Determine which calls can wait and which ones need to be returned immediately. Try to set up realistic timeframes on projects. Leave more breathing room for yourself. You don’t have to get everything done today.

Finally, include your family in your work as much as possible. Perhaps your kids can help detail your vehicles, file reservations, or assist in other areas around the office. Explain to your children what you do. Show them brochures and other examples of your work. They will feel more a part of your life.

As you look back on 1998, remember that today will be yesterday tomorrow. Don’t allow one day to go by without spending quality time with your family. Make it a priority to strive for balance in your life. Be sure to have the right perspective on what’s truly most important.

Workaholic: A person with an obsessive compulsion directed toward the production or accomplishment of something; toil; labor.

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