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Check-In

20 min

Warm up, catch up, and get going!

Step 1: Icebreaker

Group activity

1 min per member

An icebreaker is a powerful tool to help us become present with one another and ourselves. One by one, fill in the sentence below and share it with your Circle. Listen carefully as each member takes a turn and say thank you when she’s finished. Avoid the urge to slip into conversation.

  • If I could give up one task at work, it would be . . .
  • If I could give up one task at home, it would be . . .

Step 2: Member Updates

Group activity

1 min (or less) per member

Once you’re warmed up, go around your Circle and share personal updates. As a general rule, personal updates should be brief and focus on big changes and important decisions in your life. (It’s OK not to have one every month!)

If you have a One Action update, share that with your Circle at the same time. (A One Action is one concrete action you committed to take at your last meeting; the goal of a One Action is to step outside your comfort zone or practice a new skill.)

For example, a member update might go like this: “Since our last meeting, I asked my boss for a big assignment and got it. I’m thrilled but a little nervous [personal update]. For my One Action, I asked that coworker I’ve been struggling with out for lunch. She immediately said yes, and I was surprised by how easily we got along. I can see it helping in the office, and we’re going out for lunch again next week—her invite! [One Action update].”

Activity 1: Key Takeaways

Individual activity

5 min

Before you jump into today’s meeting, review the key takeaways from the “Planning for Work/Life Balance” video individually or as a group:

Give up on perfection. Doing things well is better than making them perfect. Perfection is stressful! “Good enough” will lead to greater happiness.

Don’t leave until you leave. It’s a perfectly reasonable decision to stay home with your children if you’re able to, but don’t take your foot off the gas at work in anticipation of having a family. Instead, try to achieve as much as you can in your career to be in the best possible position to balance work and family life when the time comes to make that call.

Build professional credibility. The more professional experience you have before you have kids, the more power you have to negotiate and build a career you love.

Learn to ask questions and prioritize. Engage your boss and coworkers in prioritizing. What are your key responsibilities? What matters most in your job? Sometimes you may feel yourself being pulled in many different directions. Find out what is most important. It’s in your best interest to prioritize—and it’s great for your boss, too.

Activity 2: Reflect on Your Current Work/Life Balance

Individual activity

15 min

Step 1: How do you want to spend your time?

Individual activity

5 min

Draw. Draw a pie chart showing the percent of time you spend on yourself, your job, and your relationships during your waking hours every week.

Are you happy with the arrangement you drew above? If you could change anything, what would it be? Draw your ideal time breakdown next to your first pie chart.

Step 2: Reflect on your different time breakdowns

Individual activity

10 min

Write. What about your current time breakdown works for you? What doesn’t work?

Write. How is your ideal breakdown different from your current one? Why is it better?

Write. What are some things you can do to help achieve this ideal breakdown?

Write. How would giving up on perfection help? In what area of your life would it have the most impact?

Write. Is there anything you can ask for at home or at work that will help? If so, how will you do this?

Activity 3: Discuss Ways to Improve Your Work/Life Balance

Pair activity

30 min

Step 1: Share your work/life balance strategy

Pair activity

5 min per partner

Break into groups of two or three members and share the following:

  • Your current and ideal time breakdowns
  • How you plan to get closer to your ideal time breakdown, including where you can give up on perfection and whom you can ask for help

Step 2: Share your reflections

Group activity

2 min per partner

Go around the Circle and share your reflections from the pair activity:

  • What surprised you about the difference between your current and ideal time breakdowns?
  • What’s one area in which you can give up on perfection to achieve greater work/life balance?

One Action

20 min

We recommend you close every meeting by committing to a “One Action”—one concrete thing you’re going to do before your next Circle meeting to step outside your comfort zone or practice a new skill.

Step 1: Identify the action you’re going to take

Individual activity

5 min

Giving up a task you don’t enjoy, adopting a “good enough” approach to certain parts of your life, or asking to share tasks at home or at work are all strategies for changing how you spend your time.

Write. In the space below, describe a situation you’d like to change in order to move closer to your ideal time breakdown.

Write. What specific action will you take to change the situation?

Write. Create a quick plan. When, where, and (if relevant) with whom will you take action?

Step 2: Share your One Action with your Circle

Group activity

2 min per member

One by one, go around your Circle and complete the following statements:

  • One situation that prevents me from having my ideal time breakdown is . . .
  • To change this situation, I will . . .

Wrap-Up

10 min

What’s next, and a few final words.

Step 1: Finalize logistics of your next meeting

Group activity

10 min

Before you break, make sure you have the basics covered for your next meeting: day and time, location, food and drink. Decide what you’re going to do when you get together or who’s going to send out ideas. You may also want to talk through what worked—and what didn’t—in today’s meeting and brainstorm improvements going forward.

Step 2: Close on an energetic and inspirational note

Group activity

2 min

Ready to give up on perfection to make your life more balanced? Go around the Circle and share one thing you plan to do a “good enough” job on in the future!

Optional: One Action Update

Use the following prompts to prepare your One Action Update before your next meeting, to maximize your time with your Circle.

  • What was the challenge that you planned to address?
  • How did you accomplish this?
  • What was the outcome?
  • In the end, what did you learn?