calendarWhen talking with high achievers in workshops or through executive coaching, one of the most common challenges that they deal with is maintaining a balance between work, home, personal interests, physical health and their family.  It is a constant challenge and one that all of us struggle with in putting our time and energy in to this things that matter.

When quizzed, I don’t hear many executives say that family and health are not important.   When asked if they spend enough time there, the answer is often not enough.  Other things come up, work is hard to balance and there are lots of other competing interests for my time.

When getting to the cause of this and how this can be changed, I ask for a copy of the executives calendar for the last three months.  The whole lot, day by day and the more detail the better.  What this does for me is give me a very accurate snapshot of what is truly important to the person.  It is the best way to get under the words, the intent and uncover the kimono.    If you want to see what is important to them, look at their actions not their words.

As the heading of this blog says, the evidence never lies.   In this case, what has been prioritised, what meetings are held, what is not in there all comes out and is there for all to see.  We can then start to peel back like an onion the reasons why, what a great day looks like in the future and where time needs to be allocated to what is truly important.  It becomes a very valuable thing to then ensure the calendar going forward reflects the person priorities, taking in to account how to maximise mornings, meeting times, one on ones and other competing interests.

Treat your true priorities such as your family and health like your best client.  Book the time in advance, ensure you plan for the interactions and also ensure that other less important priorities don’t consume your most precious asset – your time.

The evidence never lies.  Make sure your calendar reflects your words through action and proactive planning.  Action this through blocking time, removing non important priorities and saying no to other priorities that are perhaps not yours.    The people and things that matter will thank you for it.