How well do you manage your professional & personal commitments ?

By Aaronnette Jackson


Good management of professional and personal time is becoming important for all ages from baby boomers to Generation X workers. According to a study done by the Families and Work Institute, “50% of Generation Y and 52% of Generation X workers are family-centric compared with 41% of Boomers” (Families and Work Institute, 2004, p.3).  Over the years, gender roles have changed tremendously at work. There are more women working in the workforce then in the past and more men are taking on more daily family responsibilities. “About three-quarters of women aged 25-34 years participated in the labor force in the year 2000, compared with a little more than half in 1975” (DiNatale & Boraas, 2002, p.3)


With more women entering the workforce, the desire for more work-life effectiveness has grown.  “Among married couples with children, mothers are spending the same amount of time doing things with and taking care of their children on days when they are working today as they did 25 years ago (3.3 to 3.4 hours)” (Families and Work Institute, 2004, p. 10) This can put a great amount of pressure on families and lead to a lack of work-life effectiveness. According to a Families and Work Institute 2008 study the percentage of employees experiencing some type of work-life conflict increased from 34% in 1977 to 44% in 2008 (Families and Work Institute,2008, NSCW, p. 24). 


Most workers spend most of their time during the work day dealing with fighting traffic, rushing to meetings, running errands for the family, and working on business-related projects late into the night. When a worker has a lack of work-life effectiveness, his/her stress level can increase which is neither good for the employee or employer.  Both the employer and employee can benefit when an employer supports and helps an employee to bridge the gap between their personal and professional commitments.  Take the quiz below to see how you are doing in managing your personal and professional commitments. 


I often feel I don't have any time for myself.

a. True    b. False


Every minute of every day is always scheduled for something.

a. True    b. False


It sometimes feels as though I never even have a chance to catch my breath before the next project/crisis.

a. True    b.False


I've missed many important family events because of work-related time pressures and responsibilities

a. True    b. False 


I almost always bring work home with me.

a.True    b. False


(If you answer true to 3 or more questions it could appear that you need to improve managing your personal and professional commitments better.)