I picked this book up last week because it was on a free offer for Kindle. It may not be free for much longer, but in case you want to see for yourself, the link is here.
I’m dipping into the book in between reading other stuff because the chapters and sections are nice and short and punchy. I *do* live by much of this myself, but reading it has also made me think about shaking up my work/life balance.
It’s true, I *have* been working long and hard just lately. That’s okay, it’s part of the job. But there does come a time when all work and no play makes Diane very grumpy, or very tired, or very antisocial, and it borders on the agoraphobic. So I’ve had a bit of a shake-up and applied three new “rules”, if you like, to my life.
The first thing that this author suggests is to get a diary and use it. Well, I’m already there on that one. Big tick for me.
The next thing he suggests is to take a day off every month. Not a day off where you still book things in to do, but a day off where you don’t plan anything (other than to take a day off on that day), a day where you wake up in the morning and do whatever you feel like or diddley-squat all day. The author calls this his Boxing Day. My first change is to have a Diane Do Diddle Day, and – like the author – it falls on the 26th of each month.
The Do Diddle Day goes into the diary every month, along with other regular appointments and anniversaries. And I KEEP IT CLEAR. Aside from the usual things I need to do to survive (and for the pets to survive), nothing else goes into the diary for that day, apart from a birthday or anniversary. If an appointment normally falls on a Do Diddle Day, I’ll move the appointment. The author suggests we either do this, or move the day off. I think that’s down to personal choice and circumstances.
Everyone should have a Do Diddle Day. You might prefer to call it a Duvet Day. Whatever, it’s a recharge day.
We’ll see how that works.
My second change as a result of reading this book is to have a day of radio silence. This means that on Sundays (the Sabbath) I don’t go online. I don’t switch the laptop on. I don’t obsessively check the mobile phone for Facebook updates or messages or fall-outs or emails. The author hasn’t suggested this to me yet, or I may not have reached that far in the book. But I’ve decided to at least give it a try.
Hmm … we’ll see how that one goes too.
My third change again is another the author hasn’t suggested (yet), but it occurred to me while reading his book, and it’s that any evening work is my work, i.e. CATCH THE RAINBOW (or something else) if anything.
My official working day needs to stop at 5pm so I can take the dog for his walk, make and have tea, feed the animals, wash up, have a bath, wash my hair, etc. I already try to make sure I’m in front of the telly by 9pm (or reading a book, or listening to the radio). Any time in between should be my time and not anybody else’s.
So, we’ll see how that goes as well.
This is a good time management/work-life balance book and is written in a light, humorous style. There are some good ideas, and the author draws on, and demonstrates with, his own personal life story. Even if things aren’t necessarily suggested here, the book does make you stop and think. I’m not usually into self-help books, but I do like this one.
HOW TO DO EVERYTHING AND BE HAPPY is by Peter Jones.