In today’s life, we seem to be busier than ever, with endless to-do lists that never quite seem to get done. There is always something else to do. And in our busyness, the things that matter to us can get pushed aside, to the back of the queue. This applies to both work and personal life. As an entrepreneur, running your own business often means spending more time on management than working on the fun stuff, and this a key reason why so many entrepreneurs abandon their plans; as the reality does not match up to the daydream. But with discipline and taking the time to plan out your work schedule in advance you put yourself into a position to not only get things done but also to make time for the things that matter to you.
I realised that if I didn’t make time for the things that mattered to me I would never have the time, as tasks can and will grow to fill the time you allocate to them, meaning if you have no schedule or imminent deadline they can go on forever! This is known as Parkinson’s Law, which dictates that a task will swell to fill the time you allow for its completion. And I for one have been victim to Parkinson’s Law one time too many, so much so that in getting serious about progressing in my work and having the life I want I recognised I needed to put a stop to this detrimental habit.
So I started keeping a daily planner in which I factor the things that I feel are important for my business and personal growth and therefore I need have to make time for. The difference has been immediately noticeable. I get more tasks done, and in a shorter amount of time too!
The same applies to my personal life. Planning my workdays also has a direct impact on enabling me to start and end my days at set times. I’m not saying that you should plan for every minute of the day, there is something to be said for spontaneity, but at least blocking out time for the things you want to do is some way towards making room for them in your schedule, rather than designating them to the one day list of your mind. This could be taking up in a new hobby, getting fit, learning a new skill, reading more, volunteering, or spending more time with family and friends.
In other words, planning towards achieving the often elusive work/life balance can help ensure that seemingly never-ending work tasks do not always end up bleeding into your personal life.