In Japan, honne and tatamae are principles that can explain your behaviors and thoughts. Honne would be your true thoughts and sense of self, while tatamae are the social facades that are put up for a social group. You can say that we have many faces: one that we show to ourselves, one to our family and friends, and another to the wider world. These serve as the building blocks of our lives.
If that is true, then it makes sense that our lives are segmented. This is true mostly because there are activities and events that occur in our personal life that we do not share with others, and elements of our professional lives that are only shared with a select few.
Maintaining that perfect work-life balance is difficult and truly elusive. It might take a lifetime to master, but what if there was a way for you to segment yourself into manageable pieces for the sake of your sanity? Well, there is actually a great system for that.
The Ideal Life Planning System is a simple, but effective way to divide your life into small segments that you tackle individually. First, we all have [professional] and personal lives. It doesn’t matter who you are, we all have personal ambitions and work-related ones, so it makes sense to create two main divisions here.
When examining your personal life, you need to look at the different elements that make up your private affairs. For some, this would be their fitness, health, hobbies, and family life. These subdivisions are crucial because they each have different objectives. You should do the same for your work life: examine the elements of it and note your main objectives for each month in the year. Keep this short and simple. You can easily keep track of this in the Yearly Overview.
Break down each element into smaller segments. For example, if your aim for your health is to regulate your sleeping patterns, then create a game plan for that. Be specific and give yourself an end goal, in this case, it would be six hours per night. Using the Ideal Life Planning System, you can put this in your Weekly Overview under “habits”. When you want to change your behavior, it is best to do so gradually. Also, don’t make too many changes at once, you might become overwhelmed and abandon all of your efforts.
This world for all new habits you want to curate. Using this to track your success will help you become more disciplined. It takes about one month to create a habit, so pursuing them for a long period of time will make it second nature.
For your Monthly Overview, you have the choice of two spreads, use whichever you are most comfortable with. These spreads are undated so they aren’t seasonal. For extensive work projects and timelines, you can break up your goals into a monthly spread dedicated to work. This way, you have a clean look at what your work timeline should be. You can also have a monthly spread dedicated to special events and other important dates in your personal life.
Once you have broken up your main objectives into target goals, go the extra mile and create a roadmap. This is where the rest of your Weekly Overview comes into play. Organize your appointments and schedule here. You can see what you want to accomplish for each week, so now you are closer to reaching your main objectives. Use this to merge all aspects of your life because the segmentation was only to allow you to create your own roadmap.
The spreads for the Daily Overview is great for reflection. The left side is blank for jotting down quick notes and reminders and the right side gives you a holistic approach to your productivity. There is a space that was made for you to note something you are grateful for; at the end of the day, it’s one way to show appreciation for the things you might take for granted. Right below that is a to-do list for the small things that come up every day.
The Ideal Life Planning System is a simple way to break down the seemingly endless pile of work you have to do into a manageable system that is fluid enough to withstand the unpredictability of life.