Conquering the balancing act requires planning, communication:

Conquering the balancing act requires planning, communication:

Are you worn out with trying to succeed at work while wrangling responsibilities at home? It’s not easy—everyone concedes that. But, there are ways to keep your head above water—and even thrive. Here are some ideas for tapping your personal resources and creating strategies to help you balance work and family life.

• Decide what you want. Think about your personal values and what you want from life for you and your family. How does work fit into that? Are you working for self-fulfillment or merely for the paycheck?

• Decide what’s important. Decide, based on your values, what tasks are important and which are less so. This means more than saying your family comes before work; it means deciding what activities come first. Regularly review your priorities.

• Transition between the two worlds. It usually takes 15 to 20 minutes to shift gears from work to family. Clear your head on the way home by listening to music you enjoy as you travel, or meditating, or reading a book on the train or bus. Once home, take a 15-minute break to change clothes and make the shift.

• Take care of you. Eat well, exercise and de-stress. This makes you better able to withstand the tough times.

• Plan efficiently. Schedule specific times for family, work and other activities.

• Be realistic. There is always more to do than time available, so figure out what you can and can’t do. You may need to adjust both your expectations of your work life and your home life.