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The Elusive Work/Life Balance

The Elusive Work/Life Balance

All posts, Life

Now that I’m freelancing and consulting on my own once again, I am being very intentional with my time management. After all, isn’t that the biggest advantage of working for yourself?

“Ha!” you say? You must work for yourself and know that what actually can happen is that you simply work ALL THE TIME. The good news is that I have kids so that isn’t actually possible. I mean, paid work. There is no time off here, folks. 🙂 Which is fine, because I love my kids and doing things for and with my family.

However, since I last did this, my son has started to go to school, making everything different than it was before. I now have more time to work, but also 1 more kid to get out the door in the morning with lunch, backpack, etc…

With more time comes more responsibility for managing it. I looked around at different productivity planners, ideas, etc… But I wasn’t creating unnecessary busy work for myself, possibly without results.

In the end, I devised my own excel spreadsheet.

Each worksheet on the excel document represents one week of the month and each month I will begin a new document.

Here is my example to show you my latest efforts to manage and attempt a work life balance. The /slashes / represent new cells.

Thursday, October 3

New Biz / Work Creation / Home / Personal  …. and then to the right, another set of the same categories acting as a running list for future days.

Here are some examples of what you or I might list for each category:

New Biz /

Create HealthyFamilyHU twitter account.

Call a work prospect.

Email for a networking coffee or lunch.

Work Creation /

Write essay for Kveller

Draft book outline for potential publisher

Home /

Meal Planning

Do Laundry

Make a kid’s doctor appt

Personal/

Make massage appts for me and hubby

Buy gift for friend’s baby shower

Pick up prescription

So those are my examples. If you’re still with me, let me tell you the last couple of ways I’m working with this spreadsheet.

– Font text for each cell starts out red and I turn it black as soon as I have completed the item.

– If new items come up or I do additional things, I add them to the list. Hey, why not get credit for all of my work?! Even if that credit is simply with myself. It helps!

– I highlight any items that carried over from the day before in yellow so I’m aware of what should come first the next day, and/or what I’m apparently avoiding!

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for this system.

My next post will examine what we can figure out/find out from using this type of method. Let me know what you find out/figure out/benefit from if you try it. I’ll post a sample excel if requested…

This is simple and, so far, is working well. No fancy programs required!

About the author

I make fruits and vegetables come alive for kids and families; You can build a foundation of lifelong healthy habits and attitudes through my Fruit Funshops, Mama's Nights Out, Blog, and Books: The Healthy Mama’s Guide to feeding your family well – Simply and Sanely and its companion cookbook.