Achieving the ideal work-life balance is difficult. Being a workaholic can wreck personal relationships, but blindly adhering to a regimented mix of career, family, and outside interests can harm both professional and personal lives. Being able to make adjustments is really the key to attaining work-life balance.
There are times when you will need to dedicate most of your waking hours to a business project or deal with a personal issue. The situation may be a once in a decade opportunity such as a major expansion, or a new product launch. On the other hand a situation may arise that requires your full attention in your private life, such as a family move to new home.
Planning for certain activities like a product launch or a family move can help minimize changes in the short term. It is important to realize that you may not be able to sustain perfect balance all the time. You have to make adjustments in your expectations and modify your schedule to attend to urgent and important matters before returning to equilibrium.
If you have children don’t feel guilty if you have to miss an event. Being there is wonderful when your children are young and it can get even better when they are older. But it is easy to become overbooked with commitments when your kids have weekly sporting events and academic competitions, parent meetings, seasonal recognition ceremonies, etc. Acknowledge that you may not be able to make every event and activity. Determine what is most important to you and your child and commit to those events.
Be aware that your work and life will always be changing as time goes on leading to a shift in priorities and blur in focus for certain periods. Be patient with yourself during times of readjustment. Remember to take some time to make periodic evaluations of professional and personal goals. Make a plan to emphasize one or two areas of your life as needed. Keep in mind that work-life balance is for the long term, not the short term.