Sunrise with my beautiful wife

Ever felt a bit odd blocking off your calendar for personal activities?

Stuart, the general manager of a big bank in Australia, once shared a sentiment that resonated with me deeply: “I remember the first time I put an appointment in my diary to drop my daughter at school. It felt strange. But I soon realised it’s quite the opposite. I’m now managing my time to make sure I do the things that matter.”

Recently, while working with a global team, we embarked on an exercise I like to call “The Ideal Week.” It’s all about planning out your ideal schedule, with a twist: prioritising personal time. Many, like Stuart, initially questioned whether personal time belonged on their work calendars. But in reality, it’s what matters most.

Bonjour, in this video, I want to offer two simple suggestions about personal time.

Today, I’m out for my Tuesday walk with TK, soaking in the beauty of our regular headland stroll. This weekly ritual, a headland walk from 6 to 7 AM, has been a staple for us for the past 3-4 years. Despite our busy schedules juggling work, family, and projects, we’ve learned to cherish and protect this time. Otherwise, it’s all too easy to let them slip away.

At the start of each year, TK and I sit down for what we affectionately call “dinner with a pen and paper.” It’s a time to discuss our personal and family priorities. For me, three things always top the list: family time, one-on-one time, and me time.

Family time revolves around shared moments like Sunday night dinners and planning family vacations. These rituals keep us connected and grounded.

One-on-one time is about nurturing individual relationships, whether it’s quality time with TK or dedicated moments with each of our kids.

And then there’s me time. For TK, it’s a blend of exercise and socializing with friends, a source of joy and rejuvenation.

The key takeaway here? It’s worth the effort. My number one piece of advice is to take the time to plan and protect your personal time. Whether it’s blocking out recurring activities on your calendar or mapping out annual events, make it a priority. This year, TK and I decided to switch up our one-on-one time, opting for monthly date days where we take turns planning special outings.

So, my question for you is this: Have you taken the time to think about your personal time and how to protect it?

This is this week’s Work Smarter: Live Better tip.

Wishing you a wonderful day ahead!

A bientôt,

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