I took the summer off. Literally. The whole summer. Well, not the whole summer. But a really significant chunk of my summer. Why? Well, it turns out that when you have a baby, things change a little bit. And when you have TWO kids, things change even more. So, I’ve been a little busy and haven’t been able to write. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking. I’ve been averaging 15 articles a day reading, have written three business plans, have designed three websites and have been enrolled in several online classes to brush up on some skills. I’ve also continued to handle social media accounts for four different organizations other than my own. And I’ve been spending four hours a day at the beach. But because I haven’t been writing, I consider it taking time off.

But today, vacation is over and I get back to work. At that time. my chief concern will be work/life balance. As I am the primary caregiver to an enormous three month old baby girl and a hyperactive almost-three year old boy. So, since I’ve decided to launch two new businesses and assist with the launching of MANY more (a long story that I’ll share with you soon). So I thought it would be a good time to share my personal advice about work/life balance.

Let it be known that I’m not a fan of working for other people. I’ve done it. For years. I don’t know that I will ever do it again. And a big reason for this is that in doing so you are turning over control to an external force. I don’t like giving control of my life to anyone. I don’t think I”m doing a perfectly magnificent job of handling it myself but it’s mine, so shove off. In any case, most of these instructions are for those who work for themselves. It’s difficult to tell your boss that you’re only going to work Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-7pm because that’s your “ideal working time”. You could give it a try. If you do, please take a video.

But I digress. The first step in establishing a productive work life balance is to set goals. Do you want to make $1000 a week? Do you want to never miss bedtime? Do you just want to do things that please you? Whatever the case is, identify that which you require and use this to establish the rest. If you can’t determine what your goals are, it will make the rest of this process very difficult.

Once you have established WHAT you want to do, you need to think long and hard on how you’re going to accomplish it. You need to think about the steps that are necessary. You need to think about the actual tasks that will lead you to accomplish your goal. For example, if you want to make $1000 a week and you know that you are paid a wage of $100 per hour, you know that you need to work 10 hours. Following this, you need to think about what you need to do in order to do that. Break everything down to its most basic building blocks.

Now that you have these building blocks, you’re going to need a place to put them. And that’s where the schedule comes into place. There are a million ways to build a schedule. There are a thousand apps that let you schedule your time. But I’m a fan of putting it together in a very simple visual format. Here’s what you do. Take each day and split it into work pieces. For me personally, these blocks are as follows; morning, nap, afternoon, evening, night. Five blocks. Simple, right? In each block I write the name of the activity I’m going to do that day. And I leave some blocks blank. Now, why do I leave dome blocks blank? That’s the balance part.

Sometimes, I leave blocks empty because that’s during a time that I don’t want to work. Other times I leave a block empty so that if something comes up and I fail to complete a task in a given period of time, I can carry it over into another block. In any case, the point of the “game” is that at the end of each week, I’ve accomplished what I wanted to/needed to, I’ve taken the time to live a little and I’m alive. Assuming each of those conditions have been met, I’m a happy camper.

Want to know more about my method? Book a balance session with me and I’ll walk you through how you can make your work and life work together.