Day In the Life Of (DILO)

Work-life balance is a hot topic and can feel difficult to improve.

But improve we must because those who identify as having a poor work-life balance are more likely to experience problems in their relationships, health and overall happiness.

Before you can implement processes designed to improve work-life balance you need to know what the current situation is. 

Day In The Life Of

This activity is brings you a visual way of analyzing the activities of an individual or group of individuals in an organization to help improve their efficiency, effectiveness and work-life balance.

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Objectives

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    To document the entire set of activities for a member of staff/role holder.
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    To provide a high-touch way of showing the extent of someone’s role.
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    To highlight the major areas of work and where the greatest volumes of work are created.

Questions a DILO answers for you

  • Are your staff spending their days on the right things?
  • How is their work-life balance?
  • How is the start and end of their day effecting their focus and attention on their job?
  • Are they doing the right tasks at the right time?
  • How are their delegation skills?
  • Are their workloads in line your expectations?
  • What is the balance like between spontaneous and planned work?
  • Are there any opportunities to redistribute tasks to better qualified resources?

When Would You Use It?

  • When you are running a time management program.
  • When you are looking to do a work-life balance analysis.
  • Any time you would like to enable your group to drive out a shared view of workload, work-life balance and the underlying issues.
  • A DILO can be done for a single member of staff or a group of staff who have the same role or function and can be synthesis of all the individuals.
  • You can also use it as a visioning activity to show future roles / groups of roles as they might be.
  • The DILO technique can be one of the most powerful and important techniques to build momentum in a project because it looks at all the roles in an organization.

Why Would You Use It?

  • Job satisfaction is essential in creating high levels of workforce happiness and strong employee retention.
  • Time management and work-life balance are key facets of job satisfaction so if you hear your staff aren’t happy then this activity will quickly show both you and them which areas are in need of improvement.

Are There Any Rules?

  • Honesty – the workload analysis template needs to be completed as honestly as possible.
  • Respect others’ perceptions of their working day.

Resources Required

  • Copies of the Workload Analysis Template for each Participant.
  • A spreadsheet program (Excel or Google Sheets) to create the graphical outputs from the raw data created on the Workload Analysis Template.

DILO Template

Please note: you can download a blank template of the DILO at the bottom of this page.

DILO Template

Pre-work

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    Think carefully about who should be invited.
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    How are you going to explain clearly what the issue is?
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    What structure needs to be designed?
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    One topic area or sub-sets?
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    Everyone works on everything or break into groups working on parts?
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    One session or multiple sessions?
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    Length of session?
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    Does the brainstorming form part of another activity?
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    Suggestions:
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    Keep focused upon the subject.
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    Develop and maintain a tight brief.
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    Keep to time.

Process (1-to-1 Activity)

  • 1
    Most often you will want to run it as a 1-on-1 with each staff member. Decide what timeframe you would like to run (day-in-the-life-of (DILO) and week-in-the-life-of (WILO) are most common.
  • 2
    Explain the process to staff member paying careful attention to how:
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    The purpose of a DILO / WILO is to help them achieve a greater level of job satisfaction. Whilst you can’t promise immediate resolution and change the results of this process should help both you personally and management understand your unique challenges.
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    The results and analysis of this process are 100% confidential and will never be used against them in any future review process.
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    It’s important they are honest when completing the template.
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    This is just the start of the process in helping you achieve greater job satisfaction. The plan going forward is to run these periodically so progress can be assessed.
  • 3
    Hand the Workload Analysis Template to the Participant and ask them to complete it.
  • 4
    Schedule a follow-up meeting to transform the template together into the output format.
  • 5
    Brainstorm the Observations, Opportunities and Issues.
  • 6
    Create an action plan together for how to address the issues and take advantage of the opportunities.

Process (Team Activity)

  • 1
    If you are running this process in a team workshop environment the process is largely the same. You will, though, want to spend much more time on Step 3 making sure everyone in the room is comfortable with the process and feels safe in the knowledge that the information won’t be used against them in the future.
  • 2
    Decide what timeframe you would like to run (day-in-the-life-of (DILO) and week-in-the-life-of (WILO) are most common.
  • 3
    Explain the process to the Participants paying careful attention to how:
  • check
    The purpose of a DILO / WILO is to help them achieve a greater level of job satisfaction. Whilst you can’t promise immediate resolution and change the results of this process should help both you personally and management understand your unique challenges.
  • check
    The results and analysis of this process are 100% confidential and will never be used against them in any future review process.
  • check
    It’s important they are honest when completing the template.
  • check
    This is just the start of the process in helping you achieve greater job satisfaction. The plan going forward is to run these periodically so progress can be assessed.
  • 4
    Hand the Workload Analysis Template to the Participants and ask them to complete it.
  • 5
    Schedule a follow-up session to transform their templates into the output format.
  • 6
    Brainstorm the Observations, Opportunities and Issues.
  • 7
    Identify themes that several Participants share and create an action plan together for how to address the issues and take advantage of the opportunities.

DILO Example Report

DILO Example Report

Secret Sauce

  • This activity can also be used to show a “Week in the life of”, a “Month in the life of”, a “Year in the Life of” etc.
  • The tool can be used to reflect a number of roles, groups of roles or timeframes.
  • The workload analysis template needs to be completed as honestly as possible so whoever is completing it needs to feel ‘safe’ that their answers won’t be used against them.

Free Download Files

About the Author

Nick Martin has more than 18 years experience as a change manager and is the founder of WorkshopBank.

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