Work Life Balance Planning Formula 1 + 1 = 53

Posted by Dike Drummond MD

 life balance time management busy doctor optWork Life Balance Planning Formula 1 + 1 = 53

One of the biggest stressors for my physician clients is finding some work life balance in your busy week. We are always taught that our patient’s needs come first and we are never shown the “Off” switch on our doctor programming … so it is very easy for our career to become the #800 gorilla that takes up our whole lives.

AND when you are ready to create some work life balance … it has to be quick, simple and easy to do so … otherwise there just isn’t enough time and energy to get the job done.

The biggest reason doctors don’t have work life balance is we don’t have a habit of planning for it.

  • It takes a plan to make time for the simple things in our lives that make it sweeter.
  • It takes a plan to make time for the big “Bucket List” items that make our memories.
  • And planning and scheduling triples the odds you will actually take these work life balancing steps.

Here is a simple, quick and powerful work life balance planning process you can start today

I have taken the usual weekly planning process and trimmed it to the bone to make it as easy and fast as possible without sacrificing the power of making a plan. I call it 1 + 1 because you take just two actions a week. This is a work life balance process that will fit into your life – no matter how busy you are because …

  • It takes just minutes a week
  • It focuses you in just two areas at once — a simple life balancing activity you can do this week
  • And completing a Big Bucket List item you will do this year
  • When you take the 1 + 1 process as a weekly activity you will naturally complete 53 different work life balance activities in the course of 2013

Here’s how this 1 + 1 work life balancing process works

satisfaction mind flip

Before your first Planning Session you will need two have two things ready.


1) A list of simple, quick and easy work life balancing activities you would enjoy.

These are things you would love to do for yourself that just don’t get done in a normal week. Everyone’s list here is different.

Examples: My list includes

  • Take a walk
  • Time with my (adult) children for a cup of coffee or tea
  • Read a book for pleasure
  • A yoga class
  • A massage
  • Watch a movie
  • Play my guitar

What’s on Your List?


2) A Bucket List Item for this  year

At your first planning session for the year, pick a Bucket List Item to focus on for the year ahead. The Bucket List … is those things you really want to do in this lifetime – big things.  You may need to sit down with your significant other or family to pick this item/activity. Do that now. It is vital that you plan this Bucket List item far in advance. This is the accomplishment you will look back on next year and smile about! For many doctors, this will be a family vacation to a place you would all be excited about.


work life balance process dike drummondMy bucket list item for 2013 is a road trip to the Grand Canyon and the slot canyons of southern Utah I am planning for early May. Here is a picture of a slot canyon for you so that you can see the kind of hiking I want to do. And the Grand Canyon is beautiful before the heat of the summer. I am looking forward to walking on the glass bottomed overlook that is new there as well.

What is Your Bucket List Item for the Year?


Once you have your Personal work life balancing activities list and your Bucket List Item clear …

Here’s how the 1 + 1 work life balance planning process works

Once a week do Two Things (1 + 1):

Step One:
Pick one simple work life balance activity to do for yourself this week
Put it in your schedule for the week

Step Two:
Pick the next step in the action plan for your Bucket List Item
That may be looking up plane flights, making reservations, getting passports – any of the activities that keep this Bucket List Item moving forward
Pick the step you will take this week
Put it in your schedule for the week

During the week

  • Complete these two activities
  • Check them off the worksheet
  • Celebrate with a pat on the back, woo hoo, fist pump and say yes … whatever your victory dance is for a job well done


At the end of the year you will have
=> Completed a Bucket List Item for 2013 — congratulations!
=> Completed 52 work life balance activities for yourself that would have not gotten done anyway
=> Developed the habit of weekly planning for work life balance

1 + 1 = 53

CLICK HERE to download the 1 + 1 Work Life  Balance Process Worksheet

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT – and let us know the simple thing you will be doing for yourself this week.

Tags: Dike Drummond MD, Work Life Balance