We’ve often heard key perfomance indicators, or KPIs, mentioned when it comes to measuring our business performance, but we can also use them to measure our work-life balance performance as well. Just like we would do with a company, we have to first decide which KPIs are instrumental in achieving the level of balance that we desire.
To that end, we should ask ourselves the following questions:
- What’s most important to us in terms of maintaining a healthy level of work/life balance or integration?
- How can we measure our current level in each of these areas?
- What percentage improvement do we want to see over time?
- How will we get there? What are the action steps involved?
So, as an example, we may decide that the five categories are most critical for us in terms of maintaining a healthy level of work/life balance are:
- The amount of sleep we get.
- Our fitness level.
- Time spent with friends and family,
- Time spent in meditation.
- Time spent doing fun activities.
Next, we measure our current level in each of those areas. For example, we are currently:
- Getting 6 hours of sleep per night.
- Working out 2 times per week.
- Spending an average of 2 hours a day with friends and family.
- Meditating for 20 minutes twice a week.
- Scheduling one fun activity per week on a Saturday.
After that, we decide what improvement we want to see in each of the categories over time. For example:
- We would like to get an average of 7-8 hours of sleep per night within the next 3 months (a 17-33% improvement).
- We would like to work out 3 times per week within the next 3 months (a 50% increase).
- We would like to spend an average of 3 hours a day with friends and family within the next 3 months (a 50% improvement).
- We would like to meditate 20 minutes per day 4 times a week within the next 3 months (a 100% increase).
- We would like to participate in at least 2 fun activities per week within the next 3 months (a 100% increase).
How will we get there?
- We’d begin by adusting our schedule to accomodate the additional hour or two of sleep. We could do so by sleeping a bit later in the mornings or going to bed earlier in the evenings. Map it out.
- We’d adjust our schedule to fit in one more fitness session per week and maintain that schedule.
- How can we bring up our average to 3 hours a day with friends and family? We could adjust our schedule to include additional blocks of time on the weekend or find additional time during the week by removing less important activities.
- We’d identify 2 additional times per week to meditate and add them to our schedule.
- We’d begin to schedule activities that we consider fun well in advance to ensure that we are participating in at least 2 per week (not just on Saturdays).
Finally, since we decided to make these improvements within a 3-month window, we’d measure our performance at the end of the 3-month period to see if we had achieved the desired improvement for each of the 5 KPIS that we identified. It’s all about setting the measurement and tracking your progress. You can and should make these improvements if you want to!