Managing your schedule at work can be difficult enough, but adding managing your personal time at home into the mix and things get even trickier.
Recently, I’ve been feeling the strain of long work hours and thinking that my life balance must be quite bad. So for a couple of weeks, I’ve been calculating the time spent on different aspects of my life and decided to chart it up on excel. Here’s my typical weekday life balance chart:
Not particularly exciting, is it?
If we analyse it, we see the following important facts:
- I spend more than half of my waking day at work.
- I spend as much time on the train as I do with my wife and child put together.
- The “Self” time of course includes eating, showering and so on, so is not actually available for any other purpose.
- There is no time for personal projects or other endeavours.
Now, taking into account that I don’t work weekends, nor do I bring my work home, things are put into perspective and the balance is not as bad as it first looks when taking weekends into consideration:
To be frank, I was surprised by the results, I was expecting far less family time and self time as a percentage, but actually, it turns out not to be the case.
- Job and the daily commute still takes about 54% of my time.
The remaining 45% or so is split thus:
- About 30% our own and our family time.
- I’m squeezing roughly 10% self and social time out my schedule
- This gives me a good couple of hours a day over the weekend to do the things I want to do, such as program, study, work on projects besides work and so on.
- About 5% for housework and general chores.
Not too shabby. Time to stop complaining!
I realised that I’m becoming a crusty old hermit with nothing but a guitar that I can’t play for company. (Actually I don’t have a guitar, but you get the point). Apparently, I used to be patient, mild mannered and good tempered… Or so my mum keeps trying to remind me.
I realised that for the last few years I have had no time for anyone or anything any more. It’s so easy to claim that its all due to work, life, schedule etc… But it’s just self denial. I need a more positive attitude in order the squeeze the fun out of life, which isn’t going to give it to me all by itself.
Complaining is so easy and it becomes so natural as to be second nature, like breathing. If something goes wrong. Complain. If someithing doesn’t go as planned, blame.
I used to have a desire to create that sometimes was so strong that when it wasn’t expressed, it built up inside like a pressure cooker’s steam. Then, once I stopped creating I got used to the pressure building up inside and that also became second nature. Still, the pressure has to go somewhere and that’s where things start to go downhill and frustration sets in. Complains, whinging, etc. etc.
Sometimes I have to wonder what happened to it all, when did I turn the corner and lock myself into a dark, negative room? I think it’s time to break out a little humour and start appreciating my life again.
The weather is improving, I have a beautiful wife and a beautiful child. A bright future is awaiting myself and my family. I should stop being an old fart and really enjoy my situation.
And for starters, I can get a bit more creative.
So, in my determined effort to become more social, I’ve decided to make a real go at my blog. I can’t say how long this energetic spurt will last, but we shall see. Here are two, very different friends of mine who are far more social than I am and inspire me to become more social myself.