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Project Management: How to Keep Your Work and Family Life Separate

Balancing Rocks by Peter Nijenhuis, on Flickr

Guest post by Pamelia Brown

As a project manager, it can be difficult to separate your work responsibilities and your family duties at home. Because of your stressful, demanding job as a project manager, you feel like you have to work late hours to finish up all your planning for upcoming days. After all, being a leader of a team requires a lot of critical thinking and work outside the office. Perhaps, you act a bit irritated with your kids when you get home as well. So what can you do to excel in your project management career, without alienating your family? Here are three tips to help you compartmentalize your work and family. They don’t always have to get in the way of each other!

Go to Work Earlier

We all know the saying, the “early bird gets the worm.” In this case, the worm could be a good relationship with your family. If you get to work an hour or two earlier than your required time, you are likely to get more work done in the first place. An added bonus: Your kids are probably still sleeping. Although a lot of your work involves meeting clients and your teams, try doing administrative or independent tasks during these two hours. Rather than doing your planning and organizing at home, do it during the first few hours you are at the office.

Find a Healthy Way to Relieve Your Stress

You may be dealing with some difficult tasks for a project, or perhaps you have to micromanage a team member to get his or her work done. This can build up unnecessary stress and anxiety in your mind. The consequence: you may take out your stress by having a bad attitude at home! The last thing your kids need is a grouchy parent for their role-model. It is important to find ways to deal with your stress on a regular basis. Some common ways to decrease your stress: exercise, use a stress ball at home/work, practice breathing exercises, or get involved in a hobby you love.If you enjoy painting, sports, or traveling, make more time for yourself to do these things! The best part: these new hobbies can include your family. Perhaps you and your son/daughter can join a sports league or enroll in art and language courses together!

Designate Tasks to Others

One of the best parts about being a project manager: you aren’t expected to do every part of the project on your own! Rather, you can delegate tasks to others when necessary! Of course this doesn’t mean it’s ok to let people pick up your slack. Rather, you can find ways to oversee assignments and projects that you aren’t necessarily responsible for! Don’t think you are the only one who can do every single part of the project! Work with your team! This will make you less stressed and free up your schedule, leaving you more time for your family!

This guest contribution was submitted by Pamelia Brown, who specializes in writing about associates degree programs. Questions and comments can be sent to: [email protected]

Project Management: How to Keep Your Work and Family Life Separate is a post from: pmStudent

I love to help new project managers and working project managers further their careers.

I also offer online project management training for you!

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Andrew Krzmarzick

Hey Josh – I just happened to watch a great TED talk on work-life balance over the weekend – Nigel Marsh, Not only is the content great, but the delivery is impeccable:

Kerry Whitford

I think the three things recommended to balance life and work are useful. However, I think the first needs to be edited to fit the dual-working-parent situation. If one parent goes in early, the other is left to get ready for work and the kids out the door by themselves, and that can be stressful. My husband and I switch off days taking kids into school and then picking them up. It makes for a chaotic schedule, but allows each person at least two days to get that worm and then spend some quality tmie in the early evening with the kids.

Jay Johnson

Agreed! Having a great family is something we should cherish as a strength, not as an obligation.

@Andrew – I’ve seen that TED talk and agree. Especially about ‘cutting the crap.’