Balancing life's priorities - career, health, family

Culture

Is Time With Your Family a Priority? Here Are 5 Ways to Make it Happen

November 27, 2015

Running a CNC shop, or any business for that matter, is usually more than a 40-hour-a-week job. In fact there never seem to be enough hours in the day. So how do you make time for family and for yourself?

It’s always been a challenge, but the struggle to find work/life balance is coming to the forefront. Consider the statement by the new Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan who informed his colleagues that “I cannot and will not give up my family time” as a condition of taking the job.

So how do you insure that you can be there when your family needs you, and that you won’t someday regret missing those baseball games or dance recitals? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Build a reliable management team. If you hire and develop good people you can trust them to keep the shop running in your absence. But be sure you give them the authority they need to fulfill their responsibilities. You can’t expect them to make decisions when you’re not there if you don’t empower them to do so.
  2. Learn to delegate. Many business owners or key managers are hands-on types and may even tend to micro-manage. If you make yourself indispensable by not assigning specific duties and responsibilities to your employees you’ll never have a life outside of the shop. Moreover, no matter how hard you try you can never get everything done by yourself.
  3. Set goals. You have a vision for what you want your shop to be today and in the future. What is it you need to accomplish today to move toward achieving that vision? Perhaps today’s goal is to ramp up production on a specific run, or it may be to win a new piece of business. Your chief goal today may be to improve a machining process or correct a quality problem. Having daily goals in mind can help you with the next step: prioritizing.
  4. Prioritize. It’s not unusual for CNC shop owners and managers to jump into the fray as soon as they hit the door. A better plan is to establish a rule that no one disturbs you for the first hour you’re in the facility. Take that time to look at what needs to be done that day and set your priorities. Make a list of your tasks in order of importance, and do this by asking yourself this question: “Will completing this task take me closer to today’s goals.” If not, put it on the back burner for another day. Of course some crisis – major or minor – may interrupt your day, but after you and your people resolve the issue revisit your list of priorities and get back on track.
  5. Share the love. Your people need family time too. Recognize that every employee deserves to achieve his or her own work/life balance. Your company culture may already be flexible in dealing with employee’s personal needs. If not consider meeting with your team and listening to their concerns so that, together, you can design a plan that meets both the needs of the shop and its employees.