You can’t do a good job if your job is all you do. 

I’ve been hearing a lot recently of leaders debating the thought of work life balance. Some say it’s important, some say it’s impossible in today’s climate, and others say it never existed in the first place. Let me tell you that it does exist. It is important and it’s not a magical unicorn that you will never catch. Work life balance is obtainable if you work at it.

Planning and Purpose
Where you put the time in planning is what will end up dominating your life. You likely plan out your work life and/or your student life. You plan out the work week and workload each day to make sure that you stay on track and don’t get too far behind. What about your personal life? We must force ourselves at times to structure our “off” time just as much as we do our “on” times. Otherwise, work will drive everything else out.  Here are some things to think on to be successful in planning your personal time:

    • Mark your calendars for all important activities: This could be exercising to dates and social events. Consider these just as important as work.
    • Determine your hourly value: Sit down and figure out what you value your current hourly rate at. Many people use their work rate or salary, but it could be less or more in your personal life. Look at tasks in your personal life. Are there things that you can have others do for less than you value your time to do it? (mowing, car care, handiwork etc) Pay someone else to do it. You may be paying money, but you are actually saving it by getting your time back.
    • Bundle things together: Can you go to the grocery store on the way home from the gym? Bundle similar things together to save you some time. Just as in work, look to delegate some things away. Giving your children some responsibility that is appropriate for their age is a great way to help develop them.
    • Determine your NOs: If you do not have any in your work or personal life, chances are you are overburdened. Be willing to say no to some things that encroach on your time. It may even be some fun and valuable activities. If you are concerned about saying no to others, just politely explain why. They will often be understanding.

Balance is not 50/50
This is where some leaders get hung up. I am not proposing that a work life balance is an exact 50/50 split between the two. Instead, find what works for you. It could be a few hours of alone time to think and get away from it all. It could be scheduling time with your significant other, (It’s not as weird as it sounds), attending a weekly church service or community or sports activity. Find those things that give you stress relief, add value to your life and give your brain a chance to engage in a different way.

Find that right rhythm in your life and you’ll find yourself happier and more productive.

Make a better tomorrow.