How to Start (or Restart) Your Work Life Balance Journey

Intro

Tl;dr

  1. Setting clear priorities for what you want to accomplish in a given week.
  2. Attending fewer meetings (and moving more work to async channels)
  3. Getting stronger signal (/less noise) from your communication channels and alerts

Improving work-life balance by Getting More Time

1. First, set intention for the week

  1. submit first draft of strategy review to manager by Thursday,
  2. synthesize experiments from last week and get team to shared understanding on validated/invalidated hypotheses, and
  3. interview 5 candidates for open role.

2. Next, get fewer meetings

  1. 1:1s — Who are the 3–5 people you need to be in touch with every week? Your manager, your direct team counterparts. Outside of that, take a hard look at all of your 1:1s: How many could be a weekly note or add to a section of a doc sent over with some “top of mind thoughts”? How many could be fortnightly or monthly? How many could you just entirely eliminate?
  2. 1:1s, continued — Set aside an hour a week for one-off, 15 minute 1:1s. At the beginning of the week see who you need to spend some extra time with and slot them in. You can move the slots around, the point of the 1 hour block is to help you remember to do this and to keep your calendar from too many recurring 1:1s.
  3. XFN and team syncs — These start off well-intentioned: some people or multiple teams are kicking off a project together and need a regular get-together to sync up, ensure people are moving in the right direction, and unblock issues. Then, 2 months later, they are still there and an hour before someone will ping “who has an agenda?” When you set these meetings up, set them to expire after 4–6 weeks. If the friction to recreate the meeting isn’t worth it, then you’ve just got some time back :)

3. Lastly, manage your communication channels and alerts

Closing

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I'm a Product Manager who loves to solve problems at the intersection of how to help people get value out of complex ecosystems and how people make decisions.

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Chris Hatfield

Chris Hatfield

I'm a Product Manager who loves to solve problems at the intersection of how to help people get value out of complex ecosystems and how people make decisions.

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