When planning your work week, the top of your list should be feeling comfortable with your plans. Then of course you have tasks to perform at work and want to do them well. If you’re a high achiever and a competitive one at that, it takes careful consideration as to how much and how far to take your stands on decisions that determine your work load. Depending on your status in your company or if you’re a free-lancer, you ultimately have to live with your decisions, so make them your own.

If you work for a company, there is probably a hierarchy of who’s in charge of the tasks you do and who approves of what you accomplish. Doing your best doesn’t have to mean being the best, unless you’re climbing an expensive ladder or one that determines your working life self-esteem. Focus on your view of your work, how much you want to stand out, if you care about everyone’s opinions, who you are competing with, and if you want a promotion. Once you have those thoughts clear in your mind, you can set boundaries on how much time you want to invest in your work life.

Try not to take your work home literally! This is particularly hard if you are a free-lancer because your work could totally consume you. But, your partner and if you have kids want to see YOU when you come home, not your telephone, computer, and work worries. Leave them outside the front door. If you need to walk around the block to settle down before you enter the busy house, do so, so you’re available for those who want to greet you.

If you are balancing work and family, once you’re home try to make your partner and your kids come first. Enjoy them. Listen to their needs and always continue to respect your own as well. You may be tired and grouchy, but they may be too. Set the tone for listening to each other’s day with regard to feelings of each person’s view of how things went. Don’t jump in and give advice, just listen. You don’t come first or last. You are part of a group, your little community, where relationships matter. Once home, those relationships supersede the one’s at work.

With work and family duly considered, remember to PLAY! That’s right. Have some fun. Laughing increases your energy level!! Let go of those buzzing worries in your head and lighten up. Everyone will benefit. Stop rushing yourself and everyone else to get too much done in the little time you have in the evening. Tell jokes, play games, watch a good movie together. But remember to have fun. This will revive everyone’s energy and enjoyment of each other. It’s like the magic cure to all that ails everyone.

Laurie Hollman, Ph.D., is a psychoanalyst and author of three books: Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child’s Behavior, The Busy Parent’s Guide to Managing Anxiety in Children and Teens: The Parental Intelligence Way, and The Busy Parent’s Guide to Managing Anger in Children and Teens: The Parental Intelligence Way. Visit Laurie’s website for more guidance about living a happy, growing life: lauriehollmanphd.com.