WORK FOR YOURSELF? TAKE YOUR LIFE BACK (On Purpose & with Plenty of Play)

For me, living on purpose is all about having a balanced and fulfilling life. I guess that’s why I named our premier teleseries, Living the Fulfilled Life. Certainly one of the most powerful steps in living such a life is to bring crystal clarity to your life purpose. Once you’ve done that, the next step for many people, including me, has been to carve out time from their work so you can have more balance and opportunity to be fulfilled outside of work.

The following is a relatively simple and highly effective way to do this for people who are self-employed. I originally learned about it from another coach, Chris Barrow, so thanks Chris for helping me reclaim my life from work that I find amazingly satisfying but that can, when I allow it, take over the rest of my life.

1. CREATE A VISUAL – Purchase a year-long calendar. You can also use your Outlook calendar or similar though I find having a large physical calendar makes for a nice visual reminder.

2. PICK YOUR ‘PLAY DAYS’ – Using different color labels, determine which days you will be ‘out of the office’ — not working. This includes weekends, holidays, rest and rejuvenation days, IE vacations. Of course, it helps to collaborate with your family members on this. My wife and daughter love to remind me of the time-off days coming up.

I use green labels for time off because I like the peaceful quality of this color.

3. WORKING IN & ON DAYS – Next determine what days you will be at work, and divide those days into two types:

Working IN Your Business (delivering the goods), and Working ON Your Business (don’t forget to put some of these in on a regular basis.) This is time for developing new products and services, creating or improving systems.

4. GO FOR QUALITY R & R TIME – The combination of actually scheduling 4 weeks of time off for rest and rejuvenation coupled with two half days of working on my business each week, has led to a much more balanced personal and business life. My weekly schedule is to work in my business on Tuesday through Thursdays, with a half day on Friday for working on the business, and a half day on Monday working on my business, which means most weeks I work 4 days, and have 3 days off. Of course, if I have some open times on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, I don’t hesitate to work on my business some more or even slip out a little early and go knock the volleyball around with my daughter. But, it’s rare for me to schedule a coaching call on Monday or Friday.

5. BE FLEXIBLE – Determine for yourself what degree of flexibility works best for you as long as you’re honest with yourself. For example, I’m preparing this issue of the ezine on Saturday morning. Most weeks I do it on Friday. I don’t want to be a slave to my schedule plan, but use it as a guideline.

I trust some of you will find this of value. If so, let me hear from you, along with any questions you might have about it. Post your questions and comments on the Living & Working On Purpose Blog at: