[Guest Post]16 Ways to Have Balance in Work and Family

by Ted A. Moreno

My oldest daughter, whom I affectionately refer to as the Chick, recently learned how to ride her two wheel bike. It took a few miles of Dad huffing and puffing, running behind her while holding her bike. Then, one day, she got it. She got balance. Once you learn how to ride a bike, you never forget.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to work that way with achieving balance in life. Lately, many folks have said to me :”I just can’t seem to get balance in my life.” Striking the perfect balance between work and play, solitude and relationship, and activity and rest seems to be elusive for many, yet most see a real need for balance.

Balance requires requires personal inventory. You actually have to sit down and ask yourself: “What do I need in my life to keep me feeling grounded, healthy and happy?” If you can get clear what those things are, then you can begin to create strategies to have them in your life more often.

Life is like a pendulum. There are times when you will have to spend more time at work, and other things will have be to put aside. There will be times when your regular workout schedule will be consistent, then something will happen to derail you. The key to balance is to keep the pendulum as close to the middle as possible, realizing that sometimes that will not be possible. When it’s not, you’ll want to swing it back to the other side as soon as you can. Balance is the difference between “I’m too busy now to exercise” and “I’m busy now but I have planned time in a week to get some exercise.” It requires awareness, intention and a plan.

Here are 16 things to think about to bring more balance into two areas of life: work and  family.


  1. Plan the night before. Jim Rohn said “Either you run the day or the day runs you.” Start running the day the night before by making a list, prioritizing, and having a plan. Make sure there is gas in your car, your lunchbox is packed, you know what you’re going to  wear and the coffeepot is ready to rock and roll.
  2. Eat regularly. Nothing upsets balance like not having the proper nutrition in place. Don’t skip meals. Avoid the candy bowl or donut box.  If there is a fridge at your work, put healthy snacks in it.
  3. Take breaks. If you work for someone else you are entitled to breaks. Take them. If you work for yourself, work in increments such as an hour or two hours, then take a 10 minute break. If you sit at a desk all day: every hour get up and MOVE your body.
  4. Get to work on time, leave on time, if at all possible. It’s said that nobody on their death bed ever said they wish they’d spent more time at the office.
  5. Don’t let technology sabotage your productivity. If you can close email for periods of time, do it. Choose not to answer the phone if you don’t have to and close email when you need to focus. Designate blocks of time when you will check email and return phone calls, as well as allowing people to interrupt you. If you can, hang a sign such as: “Sorry! I’m not available to speak to you now but will be happy to do so at 2:30.”
  6. Steer clear of the drama queens and kings. Don’t sacrifice your peace of mind and blood pressure to knuckleheads that want to instigate, agitate or pontificate.
  7. Do whatever you can to find work that is enjoyable and fulfilling. Otherwise, there will never, ever be balance, nor satisfaction, nor fulfillment nor happiness. Life is too short to spend one third of your life doing something you hate.

Family (can mean you and your spouse and kids, or your parents and siblings, or extended family.)

  1. Have a goal as to what kind of parent, child or sibling you want to be. Write it down. Strive to live up to your goal or commitment and attempt to be clear when you are not.
  2. Express appreciation daily to those you love. We all feel taken for granted at times. Let those who are important to you know.
  3. Communicate. Let your family members know what you need for balance. Practice asking for what you want and need in a way that allows it to be heard and honored. Be authentic with your feelings: “I feel (hurt, happy, disappointed, sad etc.) when you say that.”
  4. Transition time. Give yourself transition time between work and home. I kiss my wife and kids when I get home then go straight to the bedroom to get into comfortable clothes and reset my mind for family time. Allow yourself some time to change hats or roles.
  5. Schedule family time to spend together. Have a night where everyone is present for dinner. Or designate one day a month when you take your mom out for lunch or call your parents or hang our with your brothers and sisters. Have a date night with your spouse. Aim to have fun with your family.
  6. Safeguard your family’s health. Take a stand for your health, as it can influence the health of your family. Are you taking care of you? Are you buying nutritious food for your family? Is your home safe and well protected? Smoking, heavy drinking, drama, complaining, or the need to let everyone know how unhappy you are is not healthy for you or your family.
  7. Take time away from the kids with your spouse, take time away by yourself. Schedule alone time.
  8. Manage your time. There are only so many hours in a day and only so many things you can do. You may be wearing many different hats: parent, child, spouse, in-law, brother or sister. Try to get balance between what you have to do and what you want to do.
  9. Ask for help. The days when it was shameful to seek counseling are thankfully fading into the past. No one does it on their own. We all need help sometime.

You may not always be able to have balance, but like riding a bike, once you know what you need to do to get back in balance and practice that, you’ll never forget!

Ted A. Moreno, C.Ht.
Personal/Small Business Coach
Certified Hypnotherapist
Certified NLP Practitioner
Offices in South Pasadena and Glendora

T: 626.826.0612
E: Hypnosis@TedMoreno.com
W: www.TedMoreno.com

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