How many of us have either heard somebody say, or said themselves, there’s just not enough time in a day? I’m sure most of us would agree it can be difficult to meet deadlines, fulfill obligations and still have time for yourself, but what can you do? First – acknowledge that a perfect work/life balance may never occur; life happens. Your children will get sick and deadlines will be moved up. But there are tools you can put in place to simplify your life and “buy” back your time.
Make a list of what you would like to accomplish each day. Making the list should be the last thing you do the day before, so you’re not feeling rushed and you can reflect on what you’ve accomplished. To get yourself started do the first one on a Saturday or Sunday. Be realistic – use your work day as the guide and give yourself reasonable timelines for each task. If you list 5 items, and each takes 3 hours to complete, it’s not likely you’re going to get them all done. Be okay with knowing things are going to slide, but identify which items are “must do’s”. Some examples are standing meetings, revenue producers, and employer’s expectations. Use a tracking system – I like to line out what I’ve accomplished and highlight what will be moved to the next day. At the end of the day review your list – what did you learn? Did you find yourself doing “busy” work because it was easier? Were there many “oh by the ways”? This identifies opportunities for improvement and ways to win back your time.