Work Life Balance, Is it time for your family?
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Work Life Balance:
Is it time for your family?

By Darren Barr-Engstrom


Do you find yourself working overtime, bringing work home at night, not enough time for your spouse or children, let alone time for fun? Are you finding it difficult to balance the demands of work with your family life? To quote life coach Cheryl Richardson who was featured on Oprah, “If one area of your life is out of balance, then it throws off your whole life.” How well balanced is your life?

Here’s a true story: I have a client, a mother of two young girls, who has a high power career, and is raising her children with her husband. Let’s call her “ Nancy ” (not her real name). Nancy is finding it increasingly difficult to balance work with her home life, and finding that she’s bringing work home more and more often. In speaking with Nancy you learn that her career is important to her, and she wants to take her career to the next level. So she knows that she has to be prepared for her meetings the next day, and it’s important that she have the answers for her boss and her clients. Nancy is also feeling torn because her daughters tell her that they want her to spend time playing, and that they miss the fun times they used to have together. This is the third time recently that she’s had to tell them that she can’t play today, but she’ll be able to sometime soon. Nancy is in the same situation that many working mothers and fathers find themselves in.

How do you balance the demands of your work life with your personal life? Nancy feels the struggle and is torn because her family is really important to her, and yet she can’t seem to find the time to go and play with her daughters. She’s busy beating herself up inside, because she’s good with time management and she should be able to just get all of her work done and spend time with her daughters playing. Yet she finds herself in the same situation over and over again. Even when she sits down to play with her daughters, she finds herself distracted, thinking about the work she has to do, and not very focused on playing and having fun.

What are your priorities? For Nancy her work and her daughters are both equal priorities. For Nancy ’s daughters, Nancy puts her first priority on work and not spending time playing with them. What you DO demonstrates your priorities more loudly than what you say, or what your good intentions are!

As a coach, I see this scenario frequently and not just with parents. Entrepreneurs, small business owners, solo professionals, government and corporate employees are all feeling the crunch. How do you get ahead professionally and financially, yet still have a family life, personal life, and even some fun? So much time and energy gets focused on our career that the other areas of our life seem to suffer at times.

Questions to ask yourself:
1) Do I work longer hours than I need to?
2) Am I achieving something important, or am I just keeping busy?
3) Do I feel guilty if I am the first person to leave the office?
4) How can I prioritize time more effectively?


Certified Life Coach Darren Barr-Engstrom helps his clients to have both rewarding careers and a great home life. If you find yourself wanting to balance the demands of career and family, explore how coaching might benefit you.

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