The Importance of a Schedule in a Balanced Working Family Life

Lately it seems like we have been running towards our goal in quicksand.  I cannot believe that May is upon us and we have not accomplished anything tangible in a while.  We have had a lot going on, the kids have been very trying lately, and we have been too relaxed on our schedule.  We have now sat down and rearranged our complete daily schedule for the next little while.  We have literally planned each and every hour for each day of the week.  Being so structured may sound a little extreme and goes against our principles of living a slower life but I think it is a necessary step as we still have so much we want to accomplish this year.

Our version of a balanced family life essentially has working life and family life intertwined as a web.  The life we are living right now has Lisa and I working equal hours on our business plans and being with our family each day.  Each day of the week (including weekends) both of us work for at least a few hours, have quality time with the kids (and as a complete family) and have some time to relax.  It becomes challenging when family life demands more time and attention and it is easy to take that time away from our work goals.  We have been working on a very simple flexible schedule and while that does work when times are normal, normal very rarely seems to occur in our family.  Now we will try the more rigid schedule.

We have broken each day into four 3-hour work blocks.  The first one , 5am to 8am, is for me only as there is no chance Lisa is going to get up that early.  Some of the days I will walk (with a notebook), while other days I will get some work done.  I am an early riser anyway and by getting up this early I can have guilt free work or exercise while everyone else sleeps.  The second block, after breakfast, is 9am to noon and each of us works this one twice a week.  The other 3 blocks are used for family activities.   The third block is 1pm to 4 pm which includes the twins nap time and Annika’s preschool.   Lisa works most of these afternoons while I will do some chores or extra work when the twins are asleep.  The evening, 7 pm to 10 pm is worked four times a week with the other three are set for relaxing and maybe watching a TV show or a movie. This schedule makes sure that we are putting in some quality work each day and that we get out for some outings with the family. We will allow for one or two of these work blocks to also be used if other events come up to take the family to.  We have a limited amount of time to accomplish our goals so we cannot let months simply disappear anymore.

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