Sometimes, when my three-year-old son is sleeping at night, I’ll talk to him. “I’m sorry I didn’t have time to play with you in the morning,” I’ll say, if I was working on a deadline project and he spent that time with my husband. Or “I’m glad we planted seeds in the yard and went out to lunch today.”
He’s not listening, of course. I guess what I’m really doing is talking to myself about whether I did a good job managing my time. Did I take on too much work to make the most of a day with my family that I’ll never get back? Should I start getting up at 4:30 am and not, so I can finish my work earlier and spend more time with my kids?
The success of Tim Ferriss’s book, The 4-Hour Workweek, made me realize I’m not alone in obsessing about how I use my time and continually hacking my daily schedule to get it right. Many freelancers and business owners have passions, from world travel to volunteering, that inspire them to keep close tabs on their hours, so they have time to do what matters to them outside of work. But it’s not always so easy to achieve the perfect balance.
In “Creating the Perfect Work Schedule,” our latest post for the AARP’s Work Reimagined site, we offer tips from experts on how to make the most of the time you’ve allotted to work, so you have the freedom to do for other things.
One of my favorite tips, from a seasoned entrepreneur: Don’t respond to routine emails from clients in the evening or weekends, so they don’t come to expect it. Wait until the next business day, unless it’s an emergency.
How do you stay in control of your time? We welcome your tips in the comment area.