Nobody on their death bed ever said, “I should have spent more time at the office.”
So why do so many of us struggle with balancing work, family, friends, hobbies, and everything else we want to do?
Men value our worth and existence by what we do for work and how we provide for our families, believing that more work equals more happiness. However, most men on their death beds will tell you they wished they hadn’t worked so hard.
Do you believe the man who is experiencing things right now or the man who’s had a lifetime of experience? I’d believe the man who’s been there and done that, but how are we supposed to value working less when we are told so much to work harder all the time? It’s similar to what you have been told about the importance of work-life balance, but I like to call it to work-life harmony because it’s not a balancing act we are trying to perform and more of harmony of work life and personal life working together as one.
Balance is different for everyone, but here are a few tips to get you into better work-life harmony.
#1 – Establish Your Goals
Think about what it is you want to accomplish in your life. Establishing clear goals for what it is you want to accomplish in your lifetime is a critical step and also one of the most important work-life balance tips. If you value both your work time and your family time, figure out the more specific goals you want to achieve. You might find that working all day every day might be leading you down the wrong path and a long one at that.
#2 – Get Organized
Some greater work-life balance advice is about getting organized, and this doesn’t mean organizing your house or your office. If you want to have it all, you need to start tracking your time and figuring out what it is you are spending your time on. Many of us find that we can add extra hours to each day just by tracking exactly how we’re spending our current time and editing our daily time spent to look like more of how we want it to be.
#3 – Schedule Your Personal Life Time
Work-life balance for men might seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. You might find it a strange task to add, “Playing with the kids,” or, “Spending time with my wife,” or even, “Having family dinner,” to your daily to-do list, but why is work so much more important that you need to add it to your calendar on not your family? Did you know that the average father spends roughly 7 hours per week with their children? That’s just 1 hour a day! To find out how to achieve work-life balance is to make an effort to include everything and everyone in your calendar. Think of these additions to your calendar or planner less like “tasks” and more like “things I want to do.”
#4 – Drop Time-Wasting Activities
How much time do you spend watching shows or scrolling through social media? Even if you think you don’t spend “that much time” on these things, you might be very surprised. I time to track the time you spend on these time-wasting activities. Each time you open up your social media, start the timer. Each time you turn on the television, start the timer again. At the end of the week, you might be very disappointed in yourself, but the important thing is that you change your bad habits. If you find that you are spending an extra 14 hours of your weekly time on activities that don’t bring you much or any value to your life, think about how that time could be better spent.
#5 – Be Honest With Yourself
Out of all the tips to achieve work-life balance for dads, this one will hit home for you. Think about all the times you said, “I don’t have time to…” The next time you are about to say these words, replace them with, “It’s not a priority for me to…” The point is, it’s easy to say you don’t have time to play with your kids or have dinner with your family or go on a date with your wife, but it’s infinitely more difficult to tell yourself they aren’t a priority for you.
#6 – Be Present
When you’re at work, work HARD. When you’re with your kids, dad HARD. And when you’re with your wife, husband HARD. It’s not about the quantity of time you spend with each of your life’s priorities, and so much more about the quality of time spent with them. Being present might be a difficult concept to grasp at first, but it is extremely important you are completely there in every present moment. Stop thinking about work when you’re with your family. Stop thinking about wanting to spend time with your family when you’re at work. Be present in each present moment.
#7 – Realize You Won’t Always Be Perfect
Some days are great dad days, other great husband days, and some other great workdays. You can’t achieve a perfectly balanced life where you spend an equal amount of time on everything you want to do in your life, but you can achieve an almost perfect work-life harmony when you do your best in every present moment and have your goals and future accomplishments set in your mind at all times.
Podcast Ep. 46 Can Dads Have It All? – 11 Tips to Balance Work and Life
What You’ve Learned
No one is perfect, and creating a balancing act between work and life is tough. It’s not about work-life balance, and so much more about work-life harmony. Everything must work together, and when you have your goals and aspirations set in your mind, you can achieve anything you want by being present in each moment. Appreciate all the different facets of your life, and you will be appreciated by the ones you love.
Being a dad isn’t easy, but it is awesome.