The struggle between work and family many of us feel is partly due to the fact that we rigorously schedule and structure our work lives, but do not do the same for our family life.
I'm especially guilty of this. In my professional life, I plan and prepare with the best of them. But for some reason my family doesn't receive the same treatment.
Here's the principle: Schedule your family first. Not just "first" by priority, but "first" by sequence.
Here's four steps to get there:
Look at the entire year ahead of you. When will you take your vacation time? When will you schedule regular periods for respite and down time? If you get to your calendar before your work does, you’ll be better equipped to resist burnout.
Look at the month ahead of you. When can you go on a date with your partner? When can you take your kids on a special outing? Schedule it in advance.
Look at the week ahead of you. When will you be out of the house early Home late? What are your kids doing? When will dinner be? What is your partner's schedule? Does is look like a train wreck is approaching? Sync your calendar with your partner's so you can stay aware of changes to your schedules throughout the week.
Look at the day ahead of you the night before. Who are you meeting with? What projects are scheduled? Any special events? Start thinking about how you can add value to each of those so that at the end of the day, you can be fully present with your family.
Work/life balance is hard, especially during a season where many of us are trying to work from home in the midst of a pandemic. But if you have the power to define your calendar (and chances are, you have more control than you give yourself credit for) then use that for the highest good possible.
At Trellis Group, we believe chaos is the enemy of the small business. It's our mission to partner with small business owners and their teams to develop the managerial practices and processes to crush chaos. Revenues go up, anxiety goes down, and work becomes a force multiplier for good in the lives of your people. Reach out to discover how the Trellis Group can help you crush chaos.