Balancing School, Work, and Family

Korey Hinton -> Blog -> Personal -> Balancing School, Work, and Family

The struggle

Finding the right balance between school, work, and family in my life has been a struggle I've faced for several years. I've tried just emphasizing 1 over the others and that has never worked for me. Obviously there are more elements to our life than just these three. Other important elements are hobbies and religion. These are vitally important and can be both personal activities and family activities. While the consequences of neglecting school can be visually obvious when you check your grades, neglecting work or family is just as devastating as not passing a class.

Realize the importance of all 3

It is important to take time to reflect on what you value most. These need to become the priority. As a software developer, building software is very fun, probably my favorite thing to do. But if that is all I ever do then my family and schooling will be neglected, but I do need personal time every week to be able to do fun side projects or else I will be unhappy as well. I reflect on my values and goals every week as I am planning my schedule that week. After establishing my values I keep it somewhere I can get to them each week. And based on those values I also set-up long-term goals.

Measured Long-term Goals

Since I value education and providing for my family I created a goal of graduating college in 2015. From the M in the acronym SMART, goals should be measurable (and motivational). I write out measures that I can look at later to see if I am on the right track with my goal. I review these goals every week when I go to plan my week.


When I go to plan out my week I look at the long-term goals and find a weekly subgoal that gets me on track with the long-term goal. For graduation my weekly goal is usually to complete my homework or get ready for a test. I then schedule time to work on that subgoal on my calendar. It is important to schedule these important "Big Rocks" before my calendar fills up. I do the same thing for my goal to spend time with my kids.


I am continually trying to be more consistent with planning out my time. I am definitely more effective in school and work and I'm a better husband and father when I do have a plan that helps me do the most important things and its okay that there are many things I'd like to do but don't have time for. Taking the time to reflect on my values helps me sort the gravel from the big rocks.

Date: 2014-07-06T03:07+0000

Author: Korey Hinton

Org version 7.9.3f with Emacs version 24

Validate XHTML 1.0