Early in my career, I met with an executive and noticed something strange on her desk. In a small picture frame, she had a little note that said, “Eat lunch.” I asked her why she needed that note, and she replied she never eats lunch. Her job was all-consuming.

That horrified me. I felt sad that a competent business leader seemed so powerless in the fight to reclaim her life from her job. Work is not supposed to be like that. It is not supposed to suck the life out of you. Throughout my career, I developed three ways to reclaim my life from my work. To fully get your life back, you have to do all three.

Set Personal Goals.

Think of simple things, like how many nights per week you want to eat dinner with your family. Several colleagues set and track their “family dinner” metric goals. It works. An extremely busy tech entrepreneur set a goal of having a proper “cellphones off” two-week vacation every summer. I’ve heard all kinds of goals entrepreneurs set and the work they are willing to put in to meet them.

Schedule Personal Time. 

An hour ago, I called one of my colleagues. Rather than hearing “hello” when he answered, I heard, “I put the diaper bag on the stroller!” I jokingly told him that I didn’t have the diaper bag. “Oh, sorry, how’s it going?” he said, turning his attention to me. My colleague was at the zoo, midday on a Thursday, with his wife and two kids. Was I mad that he was not working? No way! I was proud of him. My colleague is one of the hardest-working people I’ve ever met. And yet, he schedules personal time. If somebody is trying to schedule over one of your personal commitments, tell them you are unavailable. It’s none of their business why.

Delete, Delegate, Delay And Do.

When a task is begging you to complete it on your off time, your first instinct should be to delete it. If the task is a high enough priority that it has to get done, your second instinct should be to delegate it to a capable person. If the task is important enough that it has to get done, and there’s nobody to delegate it to, consider delaying doing it yourself until a time that works for your calendar. If that isn’t practical, then your last resort is to do that task.

If you set personal goals, schedule personal time and practice the Delete-Delegate-Delay-Do framework, you can achieve career success and get your life back.

Contact Us

If you do not currently have an I.T. provider or would like a second opinion on your network security, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We are here to serve you in the Niagara Region and Simcoe County, 24/7/365.

Niagara: 905-228-4809

Barrie: 705-885-0993

Email: help@b4networks.ca