A lot of people struggle to find a healthy balance between their personal and work life. With the lines separating these blurring as the pandemic forced many to start working from home, managing time has been made even tougher.
If you find yourself in this exact predicament, don’t fret. Kellogg School of Management and business executive Harry Kraemer has an exercise that can help you.
Time Management Exercise
First, make a grid with six rows to represent the major aspect of your life. He identified these as health, career, family, fun, spirituality, and volunteering. Next, figure out how much of your weekly time you want to dedicate to doing activities related to those priorities.
Then figure out how much time you actually end up devoting to those. Calculate the difference between the ideal and the real.
Kraemer recommends that you only try this exercise when you’re in the mood for it because only a few people match what they want to do with what they’re actually doing.
The leadership professor shared this exercise and living a value-based life in his new book, ‘Your 168: Finding Purpose and Satisfaction in a Values-Based Life’.
Kraemer also emphasized the importance of matching up the way you spend your time on the values you have as a person. Thus, he advises people to take the time to reflect and determine the things that are most important to you.
Remember that a value is not merely a preference but something that you won’t be willing to negotiate or compromise on. Once you’ve determined what values you hold dear, it’s time to find someone who can act as a sounding board to honestly tell you whether you’re living up to your values.
This person can be a trusted colleague, a religious leader, or a family member. It would be best if you choose someone who has values that you can appreciate and admire.
This process of soliciting feedback for your personal improvement is also a leadership skill that can help you rise through the ranks in your profession. However, it can be difficult to find someone that would give you straight talk and not just a sugar-coated opinion.
To solve this, Kraemer suggests finding a way to speak with everyone in your company. Try to reach out to various people, even those beyond your usual circle, and find out what they have to say.
Make an effort to show that you’re open to acting on their feedback.