By Cindy Krischer Goodman, email@example.com
If your resolutions for 2013 include achieving a better work-life balance, your calendar holds the key to your success.
But, to pull off your goals, you’re going to need to turn the traditional way of thinking upside down.
Most people schedule their work commitments on their calendars and squeeze in family, friends and fun around it. Instead, schedule your work around your personal life, say Michelle Villalobos and Jessica Kizorek, speakers, personal branding consultants and co-creators of Make Them Beg, a professional self development program. For example, they suggest you block out gym time, reading for pleasure time, coaching your kid time and date night. Even a person with almost no flexibility in his or her work schedule can block out 15 minutes for a walk rather than eating lunch at their desks.
“You have to plan for play. Otherwise work expands and there’s no time for play,” Kizorek says. Today, it’s easy to stay a little later at the office or work through lunch because there’s always more to do. Using your calendar effectively can help you with boundaries.
Villalobos says once you put “play” into your schedule, it helps to get people who are important in your life to keep you committed. For example, she blocks out three hours twice a week on her calendar to paint. She has asked her boyfriend to help her stick to that schedule.
Realistically, there will be times when you have to reschedule a fun activity because of work demands. “At least you know what you missed so if you don’t do it, you move it to another day,” Villalobos says.
Villalobos recently accomplished a personal goal and a step toward balance when she finished a
two-day art workshop that she had wanted to take for years. It took getting control over her calendar, scheduling play time and retraining her brain. “Your calendar becomes your promise to yourself, and you need to honor that promise.”
(Photo shows Michelle Villalobos and Jessica Kizorek at the Women's Success Summit, produced by Villalobos in November. It's by Miami Herald photographer Walter Michot.)