Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Recalibrate your work-life balance.

Balancing work, family life, personal time, and more can be quite a tricky task compared to simply managing your time and tasks in the workplace. David Seah needed something concrete to track his life balancing goals. He created a creative-commons licensed tracking sheet designed to make tracking work/life balance goals easy. From the site:
"For my initial pass, I created a single sheet of paper to act as the focus of your day throughout the entire week. It's really just a glorified to-do list, designed around the idea of noting when you're doing the kind of things that you'd like to be doing every day. By the end of the week, you should get an idea of whether or not you were successful. Since it's a single sheet, you can keep it on a handy clip-board and carry it around with you."
You can download the form in PDF here. And, here are a few tips:

Suggested methodology:

1. Start the week by writing down what you want to do in the beginning of the week in the upper-right part of the form. There's a space for up to three critical things you'd like to get done (these are borrowed from the Emergent Task Planner) that require concentration in measured blocks of time. I'd start just by listing one, if I had to choose just one out of the dozens of things I wish were done. If there isn't anything you need to list, just leave this part blank.

2. As the week goes on, add the inevitable tasks that crop up that you haven't yet scheduled.

3. For each day of the week, write down the stuff that you got done. You can pick them from the list you're keeping in the upper-right part of the page, or you can just pencil in stuff as it happens; the list is really just for your convenience. Cross out stuff you get done from the list so you don't have to worry about it.

4. You can also schedule events for each day of the week, as needed.

5. As you get particular tasks done, fill in a block that corresponds roughly to the part of the balance grid. If a particular task happens to accomplish both, then fill two of 'em in.

6. At the end of the week, see how it went. As you revisit what you got done, this will help you remember how that day went. You can then choose to do a week review and fill out another sheet for the coming week that attempts to make corrective action.

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