If you're seeking better work/life balance, you should know that it all comes down to one thing: priorities. If you don't prioritize the "life" side of the work/life equation, the "work" side will invariably win. Likewise, if you don't put work first when you need to, life will always get in the way.
To make sure you're focusing on the things that matter most to you on any given day, write your priorities down every morning on a 3-inch-by-5-inch notecard, suggests Inc.com contributor and social engineering behaviorist Stephanie Frank.
"A simple 3x5 card (in a powerful color, of course) in this wild world of technology can do wonders for creating a focused and productive 'Must Dos' list for each day," Frank says. "It's simple. Put your top three Must Do items on your card. These are the promises you're making to yourself. They're not the only things you'll get done today -- only the most important."
One day, for example, Frank says your card might say: 1) Prepare the budget, 2) Attend a staff meeting, and 3) Close the Jones deal. Another day, it might say: 1) Buy a birthday gift for my spouse, 2) Go to my daughter's soccer game, and 3) Make reservations at that new Thai restaurant.
"These aren't necessarily tied to money. They're tied to the things that you value most on that given day," Frank concludes. "Once you've written them down, determine your theme for the day. Your theme can be how you want to approach the day, such as 'Powerful,' 'Productive,' or 'Focused.' It can be how you want to act, like 'Truthful,' 'Peaceful,' or 'Thoughtful.' Having a theme will help with both your personal and professional development. It'll make you a better, more productive, and more loved leader because you will be more focused, mindful, and consistent in your actions."