2-13-17-valentines-day-1If you’re a funeral director or funeral home owner, Valentine’s Day can serve as a reminder of how difficult it can be to juggle career and family responsibilities. At times, balancing the two can seem impossible. Twenty-four hours a day sometimes feels like not nearly enough time to get everything done.

No matter how much you enjoy what you are doing, it’s important to have balance in your life. Here are three tips to achieving better work-life balance with Valentine’s Day being tomorrow. 

2-13-17-valentines-day-2Determine Your Priorities

When our lives get busy and hectic and we feel like we are being pulled in many directions, it’s easy to lose track of what should be a priority. You have to decide what things matter most to you and prioritize them. What is it in your life that is most deserving of your time?

Compartmentalization is a critical step to establishing your priorities. Try dividing your responsibilities into three categories: your work, your family, and your health. You probably won’t be able to fully meet the needs of each every single day, and that’s okay. It’s up to you to determine how to best attend to each area. You don’t have to always choose one or the other. Often times, you can combine them. When you have a slow day at the funeral home, go for a walk and think about business, or get the family together and go for a bike ride to help clear your head. Consider: how will you compartmentalize work enough to recognize your loved ones this week on February 14?

2-13-17-valentines-day-3Discipline Yourself

If you are a workaholic and put 100% into everything you do, it can be difficult to stop a task before it’s complete. You may want to finish the job as if it can’t wait, but sometimes it can. At some point, you have to put things away. Lay down the smart phone or step away from the computer. It may not be easy, but practice saying no.

The more time you spend consumed by one task, the less time you have to devote elsewhere. Try managing your time effectively by setting limits for unimportant tasks and making time for your priorities. Make it a goal to only watch one hour of TV a day. Create a movie night for one day a week to spend with family. Or set aside thirty minutes, three times a week for individual exercise. If you can determine what your key tasks are for each day and turn them into habits, you will be much more productive.

As a funeral director, you are on call 24/7. But this doesn’t mean you have to be responsible for everything all of the time. Ask your staff to assist during specific time frames of the day when you know you need to be available elsewhere… like maybe when you’re taking your spouse out for Valentine’s Day.

2-13-17-valentines-day-4Welcome the Unexpected

Not every day will go as planned and according to schedule. Things will come about unexpectedly. You may be in the middle of a staff meeting and get a call from your child’s school. Or you may be catching up on some paperwork when a death call comes in. Being a funeral director means rolling with the punches, and sometimes worrying over minor, unrelated issues and setbacks will only add unnecessary stress and anxiety. Allow yourself to be flexible so you can deal with the day’s surprises. Sometimes, the best moments in life come unexpectedly.

This Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to set aside time to recognize your loved ones. Life is not all about work. In fact, taking time to love life will further inspire your work. With a bit of priority management, self-discipline, and flexibility, you can achieve a more balanced life, allowing you to better love your work, your family, and yourself.

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By Diane Durbin
OGR Membership Manager