I find that my schedule tends to be erratic, fairly unstructured and, since I work out of an office in my home, my family often finds my work hours disruptive. I am disciplined in my business so why does this work-life balance seem to slip so easily?
Many consultants share your concerns. What will make you and your family happy and at the same time allow you to be more productive and get more business?
Establishing an effective work–life balance is not an easy task, but it can start with a simple discussion with your family. Do you understand what is driving their unhappiness with your work schedule? Does your family understand the challenges you need to address in your work day? Perhaps some collaborative problem–solving and brainstorming with your family can result in a workable model that pleases both parties.
Sometimes, truly elegant solutions to this problem can be found in some fairly obvious places. For example, while many people sleep through the early morning hours, there is an excellent opportunity to get up earlier and be able to work in a quiet environment without common distractions found during the workday (i.e., phone calls, etc.). The early morning is a great time for reading e-mails, writing, planning, preparing reports, rehearsing presentations, etc. Tip:
Achieving a good work–life balance is critically important. Always remember that you are in almost total control of your time and have the ability to adjust your hours wherever you see fit. Remember the old saying: "Work to live. Don't live to work!" But, perhaps most important, is to set a regular schedule (quarterly is a good interval) to formally review your balance. Is it satisfying? Has it slipped? If so, why? What conditions are in your control or beyond your control that made it so? What is your explicit plan to restore your desired balance?© 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA