April 29, 2014
Most people I encounter have time challenges. Many are overwhelmed at work; do not have the time they would like with loved ones, time for themselves and scream out for a work life balance that helps them realize a vision of enjoying life, enjoying their family or friends, and making enough money to enjoy the fruits of life.
All of these challenges are really time management and organization issues. How productive are you? How effective are you? How efficient are you? It is really about choices and how you choose to spend your time. That is part of the reason I conduct time management classes/seminars/workshops quarterly. Many know they need it, yet they are too busy to invest the time to attend where they might learn one thing that can help them achieve or move closer to their work life balance goals. At a leads group meeting a couple of weeks ago, one of the participants that was running out to another meeting, told everyone in attendance that if they were too busy to attend my class the next day, they are the ones that really need to attend.
For many years I have embraced, sought out, read about, and have been determined to make the most out of my time. Time is the one thing we will never get back. We can always make more money but as every second in our lives ticks away, we cannot ever get it back. I am one of the most, if not the most organized person I know, yet I am nowhere near where I want to be. That is why I consistently seek to improve, tweak my management of time. I recognize that I cannot manage time, but I can manage myself and that includes making the choices to accomplish, achieve, invest, and organize myself to maximize my life and my results.
There is no doubt in this quest, over the years, I have made poor decisions, like being a workaholic, and regret some of the time that I did not invest in family and friends, time pursuing other things I enjoy, however; I have used that as an incentive to move forward and make better use of the time I have, because I am not going to get any back after it is used.
A couple of years ago, when doing some deep thinking about my life and what I wanted to get out of the rest of it, I discovered a concept that works for me and as I have communicated this concept to others, they have conveyed that it has or could help them in their quest to get the most out of life.
I began by writing down all of the aspects of my life and living. Not just my current activities, but also things I wanted to invest time in. After analyzing the list, I realized that many of the items could be easily grouped together. I kept grouping the different parts of my life and my wants from life together and ended up with three aspects that I could embrace, attack, and manage: Health, Wealth, and Me.
Under Health, I put sleep, exercise, rest, nourishment, etc. Wealth consists of wealth creation—work, banking, analyzing my finances, business/investment opportunities, etc. Me consists of everything else that makes me happy—enjoy life, family, friends, baseball, other sports, personal reading, old movies, travel, etc.
Then came the real challenge—how to get a better work life balance. 24 hours in a day divided by 3 works very easily. I decided that I could spend 8 hours a day on Health, 8 hours a day on Wealth, and 8 hours a day for Me. Using this model I developed an ideal calendar of 8-8-8. After applying this, I could see some challenges since I do not choose to work 8 hours every day, 7 days a week (I know I could choose to use 8 hours on the weekends on finances and money making opportunities, however I also like to keep Sunday’s free for family and friends). So I decided that I could easily take the 8-8-8 concept and make it a 56-56-56 work life balance formula, where I could devote 56 hours between Monday-Friday on Wealth, and much of the 56 hours for Me on the weekends, with Health being divided daily. Creating an ideal calendar with 56 hours dedicated to Health, Wealth, and Me works for me.
I do not always perfectly achieve the 56-56-56; however I work towards it every week. As a result I find that I am much more focused, accomplish more in all aspects of my life, much more productive, and more relaxed.
So, how is your work-life balance?