In the not too distant past, the average family had 2 children and one parent who was the primary income earner, and another who looked after the children and the home.
However, times have changed. Families are under increasing time and money pressure and kids have greater levels of distractions than ever before.
In most circumstances, both parents work and also have to find time to do the daily chores and drop their kids at school of after school activities.
Not surprisingly do people report being under so much pressure.
So how do you balance work and family life. There are two key factors that will help you to do this. The first involves having a setting goals and the second is ensuring that your time is spent effectively on these goals.
- Set family goals
Having a long-term perspective on where you want to go helps to inform on your decisions today.
With no goals is like setting off on a road trip without a map of where you want to go. What do you want from your career and your family life? What are your aspirations?
In this time on great uncertainty, having a clear vision that you feel in control of can greatly help to reduce your stress.
When setting family goals it is important to get the family involved in the goal setting process. However, it is important that the parents discuss before they set out involving the children.
Some of these questions may involve – Do you want to concentrate more on school or will the demands of school change? What about your job? Do you want you and your family to have plenty of free time or do you want to fill it up you time with many activities?
What are the needs of the different family members?
- Set a timetable.
Having a clear vision of what you and your family members want and then spending your time on these things is effective. I find it useful to create a family timetable.
On this family timetable I put the different members of the family and break their time into half hourly increments.
Once I have done this, I can then identify pockets of time where I pursue my family goals – such as helping my children with homework or spending time with my partner.
I find that this also alert me to how I am actually spending my time.
For example, when I first did this I found that I was watching too much television. Then I got thinking that this is not really aligned with my family goals. As a result I am spending more quality time with my children and partner.
Time management for the family starts not just at the home but also at work. By effectively using your time at work you are able to spend more time with the people that matter most to you.
Time management can help you to improve the quality of the time that you spend with your family.