All of us must allocate 24 hours a day to the activities of life. How well we balance responsibilities with doing things we truly enjoy directly affects our quality of life. It also helps manage stress. Are you satisfied with your balance of time between work and ‘ohana?
If you answered “no,” you are not alone. Achieving balance with work and family is an ongoing process of juggling responsibilities at work and the needs of family members/’ohana. These needs change over time. The key to success is stepping back and periodically analyzing how things are going. You can then decide if changes are needed. The result will be enjoying your life more and being in harmony – lōkahi – with the things you value most.
10 STEPS TOWARD BALANCING WORK & ‘OHANA:
1. WORK AND ‘OHANA BALANCE IS A CONSCIOUS DECISION.
Work and ‘ohana don’t “balance” automatically. Achieving balance is an ongoing process. Understanding this can reduce frustration and help you act to gain control.
2. WRITE DOWN ‘OHANA GOALS.
‘Ohana needs change over time. Opportunities to take the kids to the beach or participate in a new family pastime don’t last forever. Decide what is important and write it down. Assign a date, and make these goals “absolutely-will-happens.”
3. STICK TO YOUR VALUES.
Sometimes it can be tough to make a choice between an ‘ohana activity and a work activity. Knowing where you stand on your values can make tough choices easier.
4. RECOGNIZE THAT IMBALANCE IS SOMETIMES INEVITABLE.
It is important to recognize that jobs and responsibilities are important and that they sometimes take priority.
5. REVISIT YOUR SCHEDULE.
When your work schedule changes, new opportunities may become available to participate in ‘ohana activities. Claim the high ground!
6. RECOGNIZE THE BENEFITS OF BALANCE.
Balancing work and ‘ohana has pay-offs for children, home relationships, and everyone’s future happiness. Recognizing this can help you keep balance in mind.
7. MANAGE DISTRACTIONS AND PROCRASTINATION.
Working long hours causes stress that sometimes finds relief naturally through workplace distractions and procrastination. If you are at the office for 12 hours, do you really work only 10? If you are searching for more ‘ohana time, it might be found here.
8. DISCUSS EXPECTATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES.
When one family member is taking on too many responsibilities at home, resentments can build. Periodically discussing the perceptions of others can provide the awareness you need to consider opportunities and choices for work and family balance .
9. ORGANIZE YOUR WORK BETTER.
Improving your delegation and time-management skills can buy you time needed for family life. Learning how to put work down, say “no,” and let go of workplace worries are skills that are learned through practice.
10. WHAT THE EAP CAN DO.
Despite these suggestions, improving balance of work and ‘ohana may be a lot easier said than done. The EAP can help you find sources for defining priorities, acquiring assertiveness skills, making tough decisions, or even identifying family goals that you want to pursue so you can look back and say, “I did it.”
WorkLife Hawaii is an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and social enterprise of Child & Family Service that provides personal, local expertise to the challenges of the human side of business, offering assistance to over 130 businesses across the state of Hawaii and to over 75,000 employees and their families. We provide professional, confidential counseling at no charge to employees; this is an employer-funded service as a healthy, happy, productive workforce is important to a business’ bottom line.
For more information on WorkLife Hawaii, visit www.worklifehawaii.org or call 808.543.8445!
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