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How to Create Your Personal Work Life Balance Plan

Bill Lee-Emery/ArticlesBase

You have probably heard the saying, ‘Plan your work and work your plan’. With work life balance in mind, I would like to add, ‘Plan your work and plan your play’.

Without planning your work-life balance program effectively, you run the risk of poor family relationships, deteriorating health, illness and disease. Moreover, you probably will not be as effective and productive at work. The ideal is to create a healthy family life and a fulfilling career. Both are possible. Here are some tips to get it right.

As an entrepreneur, executive or senior manager, you know the importance of a plan. It helps you to measure and chart actions and progress. Once you have a clear enough reason to take action, now is the time to consider your key stakeholders and allies in this project.

Get your key stakeholders on board
Who are the other people you need to take into account to get your life back into balance? It probably includes family members, colleagues and your boss. Sit down with them individually and gather the information you need so you can start to chart a healthier course.

Start with the needs of your family, spouse, children. Ask them what they expect of you and what they really value. Be wary of being caught up on the treadmill of working to create the income to provide for your family and yet are not spending any time with them! Honesty is vital in your communication here. Ambition is fine and drives our entrepreneurial economies; just balance it with what you and your family really wants from life.

Where can you improve your productivity?
Be willing to explore your professional productivity and actively look for areas of improvement. For example, many of my clients have opened up extra time for themselves just by learning how to delegate effectively. Get honest feedback about your strengths and weaknesses and take appropriate steps.

Don’t let your ego kill you
Do your skills, talents and capabilities match the requirements of your position? Sometimes a reality check can save a great deal of heartache and stress. One of my coaching clients was holding onto a job position that frankly did not suit him. However with support and candid self reflection, he realised he would be better served to move on and find something closer to his heart, than clinging onto a role that fed his ego but was destroying his life. It was better for the business also.

What about you?
There may be many demands of you, your time and energy. However, remember you are the centre of this project. Without you, your family is not the same. Without you, your business or workplace is not the same. Take time to assess and consider what is really important to you.

Put your health at the top of your action list
Have regular health assessments and plan exercise into your weekly plan. Look at the quality and quantity of your food intake and the actual demands of your job. Get professional help and then the support and cooperation of your family to make the needed changes.

Take the big picture view
List out, or mind map, all your family dreams, aspirations and the demands of your career together on one page. Add in your personal needs and requirements. Now stand back and assess your priorities, taking in all the information you now have. Seek and find that balance between what you and your family want to experience together and the needs and demands and satisfaction your career can offer you.

Manage your time
Block out ‘islands of time’ for exercise, family time, hobbies and ‘just me time’ into your working week. These are the things that can nurture you. You need to recover and regenerate your own personal energy and spirit. Author Stephen Covey calls this ‘sharpening the saw’.

Back-to-back appointments are a no-no, so give yourself some time in between appointments. You will not operate effectively if you do not. Give your brain and body a chance to catch up.

In conclusion, you know your time is valuable and that if you do schedule something in your daily or weekly planner, then it stands a good chance of happening. There is no time like the present, so find yourself a large piece of paper, your coloured pens and get planning.

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