SUCCESSFUL families know when to work and when to play. They take both seriously. When they work, they work hard and smart. When they play, they also play hard and smart. Work-family balance must be preserved no matter what. Therefore, when they play, they do not incur too much time, energy and money. Yet they are still able to maximise their fun. In short, they know how to balance their life.

But what is work-family balance? The simplest definition will be the balance between working to earn a living and spending quality time with family.

Living in a technologically-advanced society, we enjoy many conveniences which allow us more time to spend on personal matters. Email, washing machines and mobile phones have one thing in common — they were created to make our lives easier.

While some gadgets have done their jobs well, many make our lives more complicated. It seems that the more technology we have available, the less time we have to spend with our loved ones or those who matter.

Priceless moments

I have received numerous emails with the following message: if we die today, the company can and will replace us tomorrow. But to our family, we are gone forever. On their death bed, people do not wish that they had put in more time at the workplace. Rather, they regret the time they didn’t spend with their family.

I thank the person who wrote it and those who forwarded it to me. Though rather dramatic, the message does put the purpose of life into perspective.

I remember forwarding this to a friend who was on medical leave but who still decided to go to work. After reading it, he replied, saying he was on his way home to rest and spend the time with his children instead.

So what is the right balance? There’s no one formula that fits all. It’s up to the family to decide what works best, given everyone’s unique schedules and routines.

However, in general, work should be left where it belongs — at the office, shop, field or farm. It must never be allowed to interfere with family time. Only then will you achieve work-family balance.

One of the best ways to spend time with your family is to have a host of activities that are not only fun but memorable too.

You can buy fancy stuff but they may break down or lose their novelty after some time. However, memorable moments last a lifetime. I’m sure that you have experienced moments when you found yourself smiling, thinking about the happy times you spent together with your family. Those are priceless moments.

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