If you’re like the bulk of working Americans, your schedule feels overwhelming and at times, out of control. It doesn’t have to be that way. Are you on the quest for work/life balance? We have a scheduling tactic that might help you make that dream a reality.
To start, create a schedule for your personal comprehensive calendar. On this, you’ll jot down everything you have planned in your life (and then some). This won’t only help eliminate confusion, but it’ll also help your overall well-being at work (and your employees’). Here’s how.
Schedule Your Workday
How many times have you glanced at your to do list and felt like if you tackled half of it, you’d have a productive day? Too often, we overwhelm ourselves with what we need to do. Instead of listing out all of your obligations, schedule them.
Scheduling out your workday helps you to stay on task. It also helps you to manage your most important projects in a reasonable time frame. Break down your tasks into bite segments of about 30 minutes. If a task is going to take an hour to complete, give yourself two 30-minute segments back-to-back to complete it. The goal is to think of your day in smaller, more digestible chunks so you’re not as overwhelmed by the idea of getting going each morning.
Schedule in Volunteer Hours
Volunteering is an excellent way to give back. It’s also an excellent way to break yourself away from the daily grind and do something that has a purpose.
To make sure you carve out time to volunteer, add it into your schedule. Put it on your daily, weekly, or monthly routine just as you would any other meeting or project. Then, get to work. You’ll be glad you did when you’re finished.
Schedule Your Children’s Activities
Soccer. Karate. Girl Scout meetings. It’s excellent to get children involved in extracurricular activities from an early age, but as parents, that puts an added strain on your schedule.
You probably already have your children’s activities on the joint family calendar in your home, but have you marked them down on your comprehensive calendar? Doing this lets you see at a glance the days that are busiest for you, so you can adjust your other schedules as needed to give yourself a little bit of breathing room.
Schedule Friend and Family Time
No schedule is complete without some fun time. Don’t pack your days so tightly that you can’t make it out for dinner with family or friends. Schedule in time to spend at home with your kids doing crafts, or with friends at brunch, so you can prioritize what’s important in life.
The Point of it All
Why should you add in everything to your schedule? Quite simply, to identify overwhelm.
When you can visualize where you’re spending the bulk of your time, you can see where you need to start saying no, and where you can add more fuel to your internal fire. If you’re focused primarily on work, it might be time to find areas where you can delegate some tasks to your team so you can spend more time with your family. If you’re spending a large number of hours volunteering, it might be time to scale back to a schedule that doesn’t leave you feeling quite as strapped for time (and stressed).
Creating a visual schedule of your life will help you identify the main areas where you’re working so you can readjust as needed and reclaim your happiness.
Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.