If there’s one thing that all business leaders are constantly trying to achieve, it’s to spend more time with their family. But, the very fact it remains an omnipresent objective shows just how difficult it is to make it happen.
A quote by Dennis van der Heijden, CEO at Convert.com, puts into perspective why we need to keep trying to find the balance between work and family life:
He said: “There will always be something urgent, interesting and cool in the life of an entrepreneur, but children grow up and leave and so do spouses. So make time to see the growth of your children and invest time to add ‘project spouse’ to your important task manager list.”
Scheduling family time
Zirtual, a US company that provides virtual assistant services for business leaders, asked 24 entrepreneurs for their number one most actionable tip for achieving work-life balance. Forbes reports that the most cited piece of advice was simply to schedule everything.
Here are a handful of the responses around that notion:
“You schedule time for work, right? So you have to do the same for life/family.” – Benjamin Twichell, WisePops
“Utilising your calendar is everything…You treat family time/work life balance as part of your schedule!” – Nathan Chan, Foundr Magazine
“I set specific times when I am working and when I will spend time with friends and family.” – Jason Quey, Cofounders With Class
“I use the same system that I do at work—schedule it in! Block off times in your calendar to meet friends or family…” – Sid Bharath, Thinkific
“Schedule recurring ‘family time’ in your calendar. In my house, Sundays are family days.” – Rick Perreault, Unbounce
“Setting a schedule. My work day pauses at 5 p.m.” – William Harris, Elumynt
“My calendar is blocked in the afternoons for family time.” – Dennis van der Jeijden, Convert.com
Forbes writer Kevin Kruse, who is the author of the popular book ‘15 Secrets Successful People Know about Time Management’, argues that leaders should take it one step further and do away with to-do lists – and instead put every business task into their diary, in and around scheduled family time.
He acknowledges that this advice “goes against everything you’ve ever been taught about time management”, but he reminds leaders that “your calendar is the plan for your time”.
So, start scheduling your family time like you do work and see if it helps you find the balance that’s right and necessary for you to live the life they you want to. I’d be very keen to hear how this works in practice.