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Something’s Gotta Give: The Eternal Balancing Act of Work and Family

There are 2.6 million jobs that require people to travel for work as a part of the employment regularly. This can be tough on both the employee and their family.

For some, travel for work begins to take over their lives. They lose focus and the important balance between work and family.

You can avoid this imbalance by following these tips. Both you and your family will be happy that you successfully maintain a work and family life balance.

Prepare Your Family

Talk with your loved ones before the trip. Make sure everyone knows where and when your trip will take place. You could even create a calendar that has each of your trips clearly labeled.

This will give the security and confidence to your loved ones. It will also help them to feel more included in your life.

Schedule some focused time with each family member. This is a time where two of you spend time together and give each other undivided attention.

You don’t have to do anything fancy, just go for a walk, get some ice cream, or visit a park. The goal is to make memories and maintain your close bond.

Stay Connected While Away

While you are away, it is important to maintain your connection with your family. Schedule a time to reach out and communicate with your loved ones while away.

Story Time

You could have story time with your children each night. Read them their favorite book over the phone or through video chat. For this to work well, you need two copies of the book.

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Communicate Well

When talking with your family, ask open-ended questions. This will help them to open up and get talking about what is going on in their lives.

Send Postcards

Another cute way to stay in touch is to send postcards from your destinations. Your loved one can collect the cards in a scrapbook.

Choose Your Priorities Carefully

It can get tempting to think that you cannot say no to work-related responsibilities. The problem with this is that you will ultimately sacrifice your family for work. DO you want to look back on your life and realize you missed out on some important events in your family’s life?

Business travel offers many people the chance to make more money on the road than they would at home. Before saying yes to every trip, think about what you will miss while away.

Ask yourself if missing certain events will matter five day, months, or even 5 years from now. If the answer is yes, then it’s time to put family first and miss this trip.

Think About Your Health

Constant travel can be tough on your body. The changing environments and disrupted sleep schedule can cause your immune system to become compromised.

By the time you arrive home, you’re tired, sluggish, and feel plain lousy. The problem with this is that now you miss out on the chance to be with your family while you are home.

You can combat this by making sure you take care of your body while you travel. Schedule enough time to get a full night’s sleep. Avoid eating nutritionally void food. This means eating plenty of vegetables and fruits.

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Your body will even benefit from some light exercise. Take advantage of the gym or pool at your hotel and get your heart rate elevated for at least 30 minutes.

Make the Most of Your Time Home

Now that you are making sure you are healthy for your time at home; you need to make the most of this time. You can do this by preparing home cooked meals and eating dinner together. You could finish that to-do list your loved one has been asking of you.

Bring Items That Remind You of Home

One way to help keep the balance is to bring a bit of home with you while you travel. If you can, bring a token item from each family member.

This could be something as simple as a picture of your children. Or it could be a bracelet that reminds you of your wife.

When you start to lose focus, you can hold your tokens and help keep you centered and focused on what is important to you.

Rethink How You Compare Your Time

It can get frustrating or difficult to compare your work time to your home when you continuously travel. Instead of trying to compare the two on a weekly basis, try to do it on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis.

You can compare how many days you spend at home to how many you spend traveling for work.

Bring them with You

Obviously, your family can’t come with you on every work trip. But if your job happens to take you someplace amazing, why not work a family vacation into the mix?

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You can travel out to your destination alone for work and spend a few days taking care of your responsibilities. Then your family can travel out afterward to meet up with you. Then you can spend some quality tie exploring a new city and making some memories.

Balance Your Family and Travel for Work

When it comes to balancing your travel for work and your family life, it is all about making sure to prioritize well. Sometimes your work will come first, sometimes your family, you need to make sure both get their proper time.

Traveling for work can offer you more opportunity to make money, but you don’t want to sacrifice your health or family for money. You want to be able to look back on your life and not regret the choices you make today.

For more tips and ideas on having a successful career, be sure to check out our blog.

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