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How do you keep a balance between work and family!

Question: Most guys are committed to doing a great job at their place of employment and doing a great job with their families! Committment equals time! Many of us struggle with balancing time spent at the office with time spent at home. Related to time spent at work: how much is enough? How much is too much? How do you balance the two and be committed to both?

The Howitzer said…
This is a tough one because there is very little Biblical documentation. We know that God says you shall work 6 days and rest on the 7th day(sabbath). This seems to indicate some kind of natural rhythm. Let me throw out a BRAINSTORM. One model I have thought of is the daily 8x8x8 model or it could be the weekly 56x56x56 model. Let me explain.

There are 3 big areas to manage for laymen in a day’s time. Work/sabbath, personal/family and sleep. With 24 hrs in a day this breaks nicely into 3-8 hour components. What if your day was composed of 8 hrs work/sabbath, 8 hrs personal/family and 8 hrs sleep. I think the week approach is better. In a weeks time that would translate in to 56 hrs work/sabbath, 56 hrs personal/family, and 56 hrs sleep.

Said another way: what would your life look like if you were committed to

48 hrs of work time (if I can’t get my job done in 48 focused hrs per week, maybe I need an assistant)

8 hrs of Sabbath Rest (whatever that means)

56 hrs of personal time (divided into your major personal responsibilites- family, hobbies, personal development, management of personal or civic responsibilities)

56 hrs sleep (a consistent diet of 8 hrs sleep per day)

For me that would really simplify things. It would make it easier to say no to things that stole attention from my major commitments. Or it might give me permission to actually do some things I feel guilty about like going to the gym or pursueing a hobby.

My initial thought on the the split of personal time would be splitting my personal time 50/50 with my family. That means I would spend of my 56 hrs of personal time 28 hrs of focused time a week with my family and have 28 hrs for myself. That feels like more than I am doing right now for myself and my family.

Of course there will be exceptions each day and each week, because life come in cycles and I may need to focus more in one area than another. But as a principled way of thinking about my time it might work!

January 12, 2008 11:22 AM

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