While having lunch with a friend we were discussing work/life balance. She mentioned that as she gets older her work/life balance gets worse. She was terribly frustrated so I shared with her an idea my coach gave me. She thought it was such a great idea she told me I should blog about it so that other people could benefit from the idea too. So here it goes…
Create a list of everything you have going on. I realize this list could get a little long. Be sure to include those activities you do at least once a month. If you only do an activity on occasion, leave it off the list. Then determine where those activities fit by creating a calendar of sorts. Be sure to list the activities on the corresponding day of the week as well as the length of time they take.
I generally prefer to use pencil and paper for these types of activities rather than Excel. I printed a blank calendar out of Outlook and started filling in the calendar. From there I was able to create a generic template in Excel with the days of the week as my row headings and Weeks 1-4 as my column headings.
On Mondays and Fridays I am a SAHM so the only activities on my list are 1) exercise, 2) read or check email for 1 hour max, and 3) spend the day with Copy Cat and Pack Rat. Sundays are family days only so these fields say “family time.” The three days of the week CC and PR are at preschool are full of the other items I want to accomplish for my teaching and my consulting business. For example, Tuesdays are the same each week (with a few exceptions). On my list for Tuesday: exercise, check email, twitter, write blog post, and available client time. On Tues-Thur I’ve actually estimated the hours available for productive work – meaning activities where I can generate revenue. This has helped me move from the mindset that I had too much “busy” work to do to a place were I know how much availability I have for client projects. Moving from “I’m too busy” to “I have xx hours available for client projects” will help me manifest what I want, i.e., more client projects.
If you are struggling with finding a good work/life balance try creating something similar to this activity list. It was incredibly helpful for me.
by Kelly Damron
Photo graciously provided by tanakawho, through a Creative Commons license, some rights reserved