Everyone talks about work/life balance. It’s important to make time in your life for the things you deem important. This of course differs from person to person, but everyone has multiple areas of their life that compete for time.
In a world where we have way more work than time, how do we draw a line and finish working for the day? How do we know what is enough, so that we can be content to call it a day and spend mental energy elsewhere?
Packing up your things and heading home at an arbitrary moment in time is often not a good approach. At least, it’s not enough. If you head home with important work left undone, it’s likely that your mind will still be wandering somewhere else, even if your body has left for the day.
We need to create a definition of what is enough. A personal definition, because it’s going to be different for everyone.
Creating your own definition of “enough” work for a day is another way of giving yourself permission to leave. It is a way of feeling satisfied with what you have accomplished, so you can direct mental energy elsewhere, like spending time with your family or working on a hobby.
It’s another way of making a deal with yourself: “if I get this important thing done, then I’ll have earned the right to knock off without guilt.”
How do we do that?
Tim Ferriss gives a great tip, which is to use the following question to help you prioritise or manage your todo list: Which one of these items, if checked off, will leave me satisfied with my day?
Instead of planning your time, try planning your work.
At the beginning of each day, figure out what is the most important thing for you to work on. What is the one thing that, if you finish, will have the most impact? Will leave you satisfied that, if you don't do anything else, you will have made some progress?