Trying to fit a career, family and free time into 24 hours, and still sleep a little, can be hard. Can we have it all? Maybe you can — if you schedule smartly and stick to the schedule that works best for you.

Work time, family time, play time

Creating a well-rounded lifestyle that includes time to build a successful career, enjoy a satisfying family life and still have time for hobbies and personal activities requires planning and self-discipline.

Start by dividing your day into three areas: work, family and recreation. During each day, set aside time to engage in all three activities. For example, get up 30 minutes earlier to spend quality time with the family over a sit-down breakfast. Turn off the TV and chat with your spouse.

Create boundaries between work, family and fun and stick to those boundaries.

Write it out

Carry a daily appointment book or program events into your smartphone, and schedule time smartly. Writing out a daily schedule is a great tool for the on-the-go person with a full day. A written schedule defines boundaries between work, family and free time. It makes time “real”, and scheduling is all about managing time.

Schedule free time throughout the day. Instead of a coffee break, give yourself a few moments to sit outside and enjoy the day or take a short walk. If possible, schedule a power nap – a 15-20 minute rest that revitalizes body and mind.

Use weekends and holidays to enjoy time with friends and family. If you can’t leave work at the office, get it done quickly to have time with the children and your spouse – the time you’ll remember later.

What works for you doesn’t work for me

Design a schedule that suits your needs and your wants. Your schedule will look different from my schedule because we’re in different situations.

Work, family and fun won’t all get the same attention from one schedule to another, and only you can decide how to allocate time. However, to have it all, you should allocate time for all of the important things in life – your business, your family and the free time you spend with friends.

Discuss your current and proposed schedules with family members and carefully consider the needs of spouse and children. For example, you may love your job, so working 60 hours a week isn’t a hardship. However, it may have a negative impact on family life.

Delegate at work

Many business owners and senior executives are reluctant to delegate tasks. It’s often easier to “do it myself.” Assign some work tasks to assistants who can relieve some of the pressure and give you more time for family and for yourself.

Get organized

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to having it all is a lack of organization. Organize business systems and utilize the latest in technology to get work done more efficiently. That extra efficiency may give you time to spend away from the office or factory floor.

Organize family time. It doesn’t have to be a strict regimen. For example, Thursday night is game night. No TV. Smart phones off. Just family fun that refreshes you and reminds you of why you work so hard.

Organize your free time. Organized free time sounds contradictory, but it’s necessary to enjoy time for yourself. Plan to meet with friends over dinner. Plan a round of golf, or plan to leave early to see your daughter’s ball game.

Set your priorities and streamline your daily activities to enjoy them all more frequently and more effectively.

Do it now

Remember the old saying, “Don’t put off ‘til tomorrow what you can do today.” Procrastination erodes time and limits your flexibility in designing a well-rounded lifestyle. If work is always hanging over your head, you’re likely to enjoy free time and family time less, so get it done, today, if possible.

Give yourself a break

Life can change quickly in this hectic world, and your written schedule may have to change due to circumstances you can’t control. Don’t worry about it. Recognize your efforts to design and schedule a well-rounded life, and when things don’t work out, simply try harder to plan ahead and stick to your work day and weekend schedules.

With smart scheduling, maybe you can have it all.