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Stop Blaming the Economy For Lack Of Balance In Work And Life

Wendy Kaufman - Friday, February 18, 2011

Stop Blaming the Economy For Lack Of Balance In Work And Life

While work may not wait, you also can't get back valuable family life moments

The last month has been a crazy, whirlwind series of work, work, work. I have worked 60 hours a week,
barely seen my kids and cannot even recognize my husband. I see my kids being "sad" that I am not
around and even my husband misses me.

I am in the process of writing a full cover story on balance in work and life for small business owners and realize
that the irony is shocking. I need to stop and regroup and revisit my bucket system. I will never get back
those minutes of my life and while I am grateful for the work. I see how easy it is for your life to become unbalanced.

As I began to interview business people for the article, a majority of owners shared with me that they are too scared
of losing any business - that they have thrown work and life balance out the window and blame the "new economy."
One owner told me their “family will wait but their business won’t!”

This blog is screaming, yelling, ranting and raving “NO, NO, NO!” Not just to you but to myself as well.

I am one year away from being an empty-nester and never again will I have children home to see and kiss every
morning and night. Family doesn't wait and experiences are missed forever.

Yes, I am empathetic to money issues -I pay for 2 college tuitions and save for one more plus medical school -
but I know there is more to life and it seems we desperately need a wake-up call.

My fear is that all these owners who are working from
morning to night will wake up sick and alone someday.

Here is some good, concrete advice to help balance your life during this "new economy."

1. Skip many networking meetings.

Be very, very picky about which groups to join and make sure the meetings you are attending are the best and that you are spending your time wisely.

2. Block off time.

  • Go through your children's school calendar and block off any necessary dates - school vacations, superintendent days, and trip days. Prom season is important and fun to be around. Don't miss it!
  • Birthdays are always fun and part of being in a family.
  • Block off sometime and enjoy! Way too many clients are missing their moms 70th birthdays to go to a networking group with all unemployed people.

3. Go home in a good mood.

Your family deserves to see you at your best. I know that that is not possible to do all the time but most of the time is achievable. I drive around the block two to three extra times sometimes playing some upbeat music and remind myself how blessed I am to have such a great family. When I walk through the door I am ready to be a mom! The same is true in the morning when I am going to work. I give myself extra time commuting and remind myself how much I love my job and then when I get to the client I am raring to go.

4. Nip unnecessary interruptions in the bud.

Every second of every minute of every day counts. Be conscious of time wasters!

I would love to hear from you! Comment below: how many hours a week are your working now? What family activities have you missed? How do you feel about it? Let’s start a dialogue about life choices and that way we can learn from each other!

The Author Wendy Kaufman, is the founder of Balancing Life’s Issues a national training company with a network of more than 500 trainers.

Wendy and staff bring a wide range of work and life balance programs to corporations, not-for-profit organizations and employee assistance programs. Some of the most popular topics include: Emotional Intelligence; Managing Stress with Humor and Health and Wellness.

Balance in work and life programs prepare participants to cope with the stresses of today and face the challenges of tomorrow. Her seminars encourage participants to think differently.

Wendy is a senior trainer with the American Management Association. She earned a Master’s Degree in Industrial Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. You can contact Wendy at Wendy@BalancingLifesIssues.com or 914-762-9075.


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