Is it just me, or does this feel like a tail as old as time, being able to juggle the pressure of having a life and working to build your business. The busy Mom’s, the start up businesses, and doing basic life tasks like eating, sleeping, and keeping up with our living spaces! The constant back and forth and feeling of guilt if you drop the ball in one of these categories of your life.
A year or so ago, I stumbled across a book by Randi Zuckerberg called “Pick 3”
The concept is simple. You pick 3 categories off your priorities list and focus on those for the day. Upon implementing this strategy, I found it incredibly helpful.
“You can have it all, just not everyday.” -Randi Zuckerberg
Randi breaks her life down into 5 categories: Work, Family, Friends, Sleep Fitness.
Your categories make look a little different, so just adjust accordingly.
The idea is you pick THREE categories to focus on each day. I think we are all tempted to combine more than one per category. I do it all the time. I combine my hobbies with friend or family time. That certainly works. What you want to be aware of is if you are actually dedicating that time wholeheartedly to the things on the list and not just aimlessly multitasking.
Lets look at an example day from the book (page 9):
“To do: Work. Friends. Family.
I start off with an early morning television appearance discussing new back-to-school apps and gadgets. I always love hosting segments, but to get TV-ready means I won’t be picking Sleep, since I woke up at the crack of dawn. My good friend Erica joins me in the studio and we catch up over coffee afterward. Friend time: check! After that, I head to the office, where I have tons of work to catch up on. That’s work times two! I make it home in time to kiss my boys, help my six-year-old son prep for his first day of school, and catch up with my husband when he gets home from work.
Ta-da: Pick Three crushed!”
I prefer to write down each of my categories in my agenda and highlight them each a different color so I have a visual on where I spent my time. At the end of the week, I can reflect back to see where I spent a majority of it. If I have a week that is heavily focused on work (Hello big events & project deadlines!). I’ll readjust next week to add in another category that I was light on, maybe that’s health or friend time. Another method is writing the category and activity that will be spent in that category on sticky notes. Example
Day 1: Work, family-take kids to the park, play a board game, and health-workout for 45 minutes on my first sticky note.
Day 2 would have it’s own. Putting these in your planner, a desk calendar, or on your wall would be a great spot. You just want them in sight.
This might seem like it takes more time to track where your time is spent and it does. However, in my experience, I’m already tracking my day to day activities through some type of agenda and it doesn’t take very long. I’m much happier when I realize where I can focus my energy and what I might be lacking in my life.
I strongly encourage each of you to take a look at this method to see if it’s something you can incorporate to give you more of the work life balance you’ve been craving.
Pick 3 steps:
- Identify your categories
For Randi, those are work, family, friends, sleep, fitness. For me, those are work, family, friends, hobbies, fitness. Pick what works for you!
- Pick 3 for the day!
Don’t feel guilty and spend time thinking about the other 2 you didn’t pick. You can pick them another day. Today is for you to fully focus on the other 3.
- Track them
I mentioned a few methods, highlighting on your agenda and color coding, sticky notes, find the method that makes it easy for you to see where you’ve spent the most time.
- Readjust accordingly
Don’t forget to reevaluate and spend time in your other priorities. If you pick the same 3 consistently, then there might as well just be 3 categories! This is how we get “balance”.
If you’d like to read Randi’s book it can be found on Amazon, or you can borrow a copy from the Ladies Business Community.