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How can workaholics maintain a good work-family balance?

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Aug 24, 2021
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In order to prevent their families from falling apart while pursuing their goals, how can workaholics maintain a balance between work and family life?

A few assumptions that form the crust of the problem:
  • A workaholic finds joy/satisfaction in getting work done.
  • They are hyperfocused on what they do and love it. Could autism be the reason?
  • When not working, they think about work and subconsciously crave returning to it.
  • Inability to work makes them unhappy.
  • Doing anything other than work is considered a short break before they can return to what they "live for".
  • As a result of their absence, their family and social lives suffer.
  • The partner didn't sign up to being "alone" in the relationship while the workaholic is absent most of the time. Over time, they become increasingly resentful of the workaholic partner and grow increasingly unhappy about the situation.
  • The kids are growing up with an absent workaholic parent. They get used to it but it leaves a permanent mark on their psyche (self-confidence?).
  • The workaholic sees things differently. "I will just get this done and then personal life can proceed." In reality it never does. If work ever gets completed, new work is necessary to give their life meaning/joy.
  • In theory the workaholic wants a partner, family, and social life, but in practice needs to work.
So how does a workaholic keep their family/social life from not falling apart? How do they keep their families happy while not being unhappy themselves in the process?
6
Creative contributions

Alternate wins between work and family without skipping turns

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Aug 24, 2021
After scoring a win at work, make it mandatory to not focus on work until you score an equally strong win at home. Make a family member happy, spend quality time with your loved ones, take your partner on a date, go camping with your child, etc.

Only when you scored a win at home, are you allowed to focus on scoring the next win at work.

And the cycle continues.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic5 months ago
I keep forgetting to do this. It time to work on some habit building techniques
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Stick to a strict schedule

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Spook Louw
Spook Louw Sep 02, 2021
This may be somewhat obvious, but it would still be an effective solution.

Sticking to a strict schedule allows you to focus on work when it's time to work, but also to put work away during the hours not allocated to work.

This has become more difficult to do since we are able to take work everywhere we go on cellphones and laptops, but imagine the routine of a tradesman like a builder. While on-site, a builder's family cannot reach or bother him/her while working, but when he/she is home, there's nothing to be done about work, so attention can then be focussed on the family. There is no reason any of us cannot approach work/family balance in the same way, the trick is to be disciplined and sticking to the allocated time slots regardless of what might be going on in your personal/professional life.



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Promote personal life/work balance in the society

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Michaela D
Michaela D Oct 08, 2021
This balance is not always up to one person's efforts. For employees, it is not easy to maintain a good balance when there is a workaholic environment and long hours are expected. The biggest change would come if the whole society (and your boss) considered personal time as important as working time. This is the case in some countries (ex Scandinavia) which in this aspect are an exception in the Western World.
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Schedule more work on rainy/cold days and more family time on sunny/warm days

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Apr 14, 2022
If you work indoors, use the weather forecast to schedule more intense work when the weather is not pleasant outside. In contrast, take more time off and spend it outdoors with family/friends when the weather is nice. Picnics, trips, etc.
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Maintain a list of projects where your family can work with you

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic May 05, 2022
Keep coming up with new projects where your family can work with you. Actively maintain a backlog/list of such projects that never runs out.
The family may not enjoy every project you come up with, but keep trying.
Keep reviewing past projects and rate everyone's experience for each. Extract concepts from past projects and look to recycle the successful ones as new projects.
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Using Kanban to schedule family-friendly work projects so that workaholics can spend more quality time with their families while still working

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic May 05, 2022
A habit that helps workaholics spend more quality time with their families while also working. Using kanban to plan projects that include the entire family, are fun but also get work done.
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