There is no doubt that everyone that has a highly demanding job will be having some measure of difficulty in achieving a balance between personal life and work. This is, even more, played out in married women who have responsibilities at home which include taking care of the house, husband and kids. This is a task that remains a great challenge for an average working mother. The married man also seeks ways to be personally involved in the grooming of his children to become responsible adults.

Failure in this onerous task is increasing the rate of delinquency in our teenagers. There is a self-test quiz that can be easily applied to show just how well you are balancing your home front with your work. Richard Earle, PhD, an internationally respected and published authority on stress and controlling its impacts on productive wellbeing both in individuals and in rapidly changing workplaces, developed this self-help test. He is the Managing Director of the Canadian Institute of Stress and the Hans Selye Foundation.

Step # 1: Think about how much time or energy you would like to give each of the following activities:

  1. Family recreation activities.
  2. Personal recreation activities.
  3. Doing your core job at work.
  4. Housekeeping chores.
  5. Professional development chores.
  6. “Easy time” with your spouse.
  7. Taking on “extras” at work.
  8. “Easy time” with children.
  9. Doing office work at home.
  10. Meal preparation.
  11. Taking children to sports/activities.
  12. Relaxing/socialising with friends.

Rate each activity on the following scale from 0 – 4:

  • It should get no time or energy = 0
  • It should get very little time or energy = 1
  • It should get medium time or energy = 2
  • It should get quite a bit of time or energy = 3
  • It should get a lot of time or energy = 4

Step # 2: Think about how things work in your life. Rate each activity again on the following scale from 0 – 4 as follows –

  • At present, it really gets no time or energy = 0
  • At present, it really gets very little time or energy = 1
  • At present, it really gets medium time or energy = 2
  • At present, it really gets quite a bit of time or energy = 3
  • At present, it really gets a lot of time or energy = 4

Step # 3: Write down the number that shows the difference between your two ratings. Subtract the number that is smaller from either side from the larger one. Add up these numbers, and you would have derived your “juggling stress” number.

To interpret your score, if you have no children multiply your score by 1.2. If no spouse, multiply by 1.1. stress is the gap between your real situation and your ideal situation. To see how successfully you are juggling the demands of work and personal life, check your total against the stress thermometer.


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