inding the perfect balance between work and the rest of your life
can sometimes seem impossible. But let's face it: whether because
of a busy family, classes at night, care for an elderly parent,
or a second job, we all have a life beyond Children's.
Last month, COO Sandra Fenwick told Children's
News about her
own efforts to find the right balance. Someone with so much
responsibility can't always avoid bringing work into the home, and
I was impressed to read how she involved her growing children in
that work by sharing it with them. It brings a smile to my face
to imagine the hospital's strategic plan being fine-tuned at the
same table where algebra homework is getting done.
Family is one of many passions Children's workers have outside
of work. I'm always amazed when I think about the many Children's
workers who play symphonies with the LSO, train for the Kids at
Heart Marathon Team, mentor young people around Boston, pursue their
dreams through the tuition assistance or Bridges to the Future programs.
Some employers want to be the center of their employees' lives,
but I believe that employees with strong passions outside of work
have an easier time finding balance, health and happiness. And more
often than not, that makes them better, more productive employees.
Here are some ideas on how
to get the balance in your life:
- First, recognize that this takes work! Pat yourself on
the back for taking the time to make “balance” in your life
- Look at activities one week at a time. Accept that there
is something always happening, so plan each week at a time
rather than feel overwhelmed by activities in the upcoming
- Working parents need to involve their children communicate
regularly with your children about the day’s events, and
what is expected of them.
Establish some routines. There is comfort in a little predictability
in our lives and takes the mystery out of some of the more
- Learn to use technology to your benefit. If you cannot
be in two places at one time, use a cell phone to at least
make yourself accessible.
- Find the humor in your life. Make sure you laugh daily.
Learn to say “no” or at least lower your expectations.
- Silver linings are good too. When something doesn’t go
the way you planned or hoped, find the positive in it. Decide
to turn it around so it doesn’t bog you down.
You know you have balance in your life when you have enough time
for family and friends, as well as for work; when you have resources
or back-up plans when something unexpected happens (such as a sick
babysitter or broken-down car); when you are making headway on your
personal and career goals; and when in general your days run relatively
Balance in our lives may seem illusive at times. When something doesn’t go the way you planned or hoped, find the positive in it and turn it around so it doesn’t bog you down.