Plato Guide

How to Strike a Balance Between Work and Family

Last Updated on September 19, 2023 by Richard Hall

Parents are often faced with a dilemma when it comes to finding a balance between their work life and family life. Moms and dads with young kids are especially finding the situation difficult because their little ones need more of their time and attention than grown children.



When I first started my career in sales, I had all the time in the world to focus on work. Being employed in a large multi-national corporation meant I needed to travel all the time attending conferences and business meetings, which was absolutely fine at the beginning. However, after getting married and having kids, my schedule was impossible to manage. My wife kept complaining I didn’t spend enough time with the family, and over time, I became more stressed out.

But after years of experimenting and trying many different approaches, I’ve finally figured out ways that help me spend more time with my wife and kids, and at the same time, remain productive at work.

I’d like to share my own insights in the hopes that you too will become more effective as a parent, spouse and career person.

Tip #1: Have a To-Do List

Time management is one of the most difficult things in the world. But it’s very important if you want to do all the things you need to do within a reasonable amount of time. So, create a to-do list for your daily, weekly and monthly tasks and then rank them based on their importance. With a list that you can check regularly, you’ll know exactly what you need to do and how much time you have to do it. This prevents procrastination and laziness, thereby making you more productive in both your personal life and career.

Tip #2: Learn to Say No

The problem with many people today is they cannot say NO. Their boss asks them if they can work on someone else’s project and they’d willingly say yes even if they still have a pile of work to do. A colleague at work invites them over for a few drinks on a Sunday evening and they have a hard time turning them down.

But you have to say no. If you can’t say no, you’ll end up spending more hours away from your family, resulting to resentment later on.

Tip #3: Don’t Take Your Work Home

Oftentimes, we’re tempted to work until late because a deadline is coming. But we know we need to go home in time for dinner so we make a decision to just continue working at home after dinner. While doing this occasionally is fine, making a habit of it is definitely a no-no. Why? Well, I can give you at least 3 reasons:

  1. Your spouse and kids want to spend time with you.
  2. You’re not paid to work at home.
  3. Your work will still be there in the morning.

Remember, you work to provide for your family but that doesn’t give you an excuse to spend all your waking hours working. By being more organized and learning how to manage your time effectively, you can still be very productive while at the same time, be there for your family


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