This past weekend, I had a huge project on my plate that I had to accomplish, no questions asked. This was a big deal, and I had to put my nose to the grindstone to get it done. It was quite the push.

I went into the weekend knowing this, and decided right then that I needed to change this behavior. Currently, there are no lines between work and home, and that needs to change. My son is almost two and a half, and is talking more than ever. Soon he won’t be the baby, he’ll be a little boy. I need to cherish the time I have with him today, and not worry about work 24/7.

This means that I need to draw the line between work and home and set it in stone, but still accomplish everything I need to do to keep my clients and bosses happy. It’s tricky, but this past Monday I hit the mark pretty well, even if it meant crashing hard in the afternoon. With a bit more organization, I know I can make this happen.

The proverbial line in the sand is now drawn, and it’s what I want to do from here on out. It’s going to take some time to make the transition, but the hope is that in the next few weeks I’ll have it all figured out.

The schedule works like this:

6 am – 8 am: Time with the family. Feed the dogs, boy, wife, etc. Play with the kiddo or watch Sesame Street with him until he gets dropped off at daycare.

8 am – noon: Work. Work hard and be as productive as possible.

Noon – 1 pm: Lunch. Take the time to eat with the wife or a friend, just to catch up. It pays to be social.

2 pm – 6 pm: Work. Work hard and be as productive as possible.

6 pm – 9 pm: Eat dinner and spend time with the family. Maximize my interaction with my son, and make sure we do some fun things together.

9 pm – whenever: Work. Work hard and be as productive as possible.

The tricky part comes on the weekends. Right now, KJ has a swim class on Saturday mornings, and then he naps (sometimes) between noon and 3 pm. My wife and I also have a standing movie night on Fridays so that we can bond and all that junk. But inevitably, work will happen. I will need to get stuff done, it’s just the way it works when you’re pushing a 40-hour workweek for one company and another 40 for a few others.

Something’s got to give.

So my thought is that to keep myself from getting burned out, I need to dedicate as much time as possible to the family. Maybe I work when KJ is napping, maybe it’s late on Saturday and Sunday night. Whatever it is, I work when I can, but the family has to come first. I’m not going to look back on my life and wish I had spent more time watching my son grow up instead of sitting in my office and staring at the monitor.

The balance is tricky, and I’m probably going to struggle with this for a long time. I’m fortunate that I work from home, because when my wife and I do have kid No. 2, I’ll be able to spend time with them the same way I did with KJ, and that’s very important to me. But I do have to make a living, and I have to support our burgeoning family.

I’ll figure it out. It’s going to be a bumpy road, but I’ll make it work.