I am not a parent but I’ll quibble with the title of this article anyway. It hits all the right notes for trying to achieve a reasonable balance between work and the rest of your life but having worked in busy environments, when things are on fire, you won’t likely be leaving guilt free no matter what. Ever. But can you make leaving at a reasonable time a practice? You bet. Does it get easier the more you stand your ground? Yes, (if only slightly) in my experience. I am not sure that you are ever going to feel less guilty at what isn’t getting done (by you) but with time, you can realize how important it is to attend to life outside of work.
The top regrets of the dying are worth a visit in conjunction with this article. They include: working too hard, failing to stay in touch with friends and, in top spot, not having the courage to live a life true to oneself, not the life others expected of us.
But on to the strategies to get out of the office in the first place
1) Begin the day with your end in mind (including a firm motivation to get out the door).
2) Be clear on your values and then schedule your time to reflect these values.
3) Tell people when you have to leave
4) Do your most important work first
5) Start meetings before 4pm
6) Give yourself transition time