Finding balance…isn’t that what we all are searching for? Work life balance. To be able to do the things we love and still be able to have a growing successful life and career.
On this episode I want to dig into this topic and share some of the tactics I found that help me find balance.
#1. Do the things you love every single day
#2. If it takes 2 mins or less just do it
#3. Make a list of 3 todos each day
Finding balance…isn’t that what we all are searching for?
Work life balance.
To be able to do the things we love and still be able to have a growing successful life.
On this episode I want to dig into this topic.
Share some of the tactics I found that help me find balance.
Over my career I have interviewed countless candidates…many of which said ‘The reason I am leaving my current job is I am looking for more work life balance’.
Let me share a secret: there is no such thing as work life balance.
What is balance 50/50…80/20?
Most don’t analyze the exact amount between work and life.
I think…no I BET most measure balance by is work out weighing life?
If it is then I think most start to have that feeling I NEED TO MAKE A CHANGE.
Especially now. Coming out of the pandemic and this GREAT RESIGNATION.
I think everyone, not matter what industry you are in. We have this feeling we want to have a purpose. Be able to feel good (or feel better) in what we do each and every day.
The key thing with balance is to think about is…prioritization.
Whether you know this or not you are in control to choose and prioritize the things you do in a given day.
See the way most are wired is we wake up every Monday. Make a dozen decisions before we even start our work day. We are programmed to shower, brush our teeth pick-out what to wear. Sometimes on auto pilot. Our brain is making some of those decisions for us.
Other decisions not so much.
Many successful people…reduce the amount of decisions they make. Why do you think some tech moguls wear the same t-shirt everyday. Because that’s one less decision they have to make in a given day.
I follow this…not just because the pandemic hit and I don’t have to wear a button down everyday. But if I line my closet with t-shirts and I grab and go. vs. staring at the closet saying what should I wear today.
See prioritization is your superpower. You decide to spend your time both personally and professionally will help you find balance.
At my company we even use this as one of our values.
Prioritization is your superpower.
The work is never done.
YOU are in control on what you work on first, second and LAST.
Early in my career. The way I approached my week was like this.
Monday through Friday I work 9-5.
In the evenings we made food For dinner. Watched a little tv and went to bed.
Saturday I relaxed. Maybe went out to the movies. Spent time with my family.
Sunday I watched football. Did yard work. Worked on the cars. Went shopping.
Sunday night I would stress out and got bummed that I hard work in the AM.
Monday it started all over again.
That’s normal. Right?
Or is it?
During the 9-5 I would just work on the list of TODOs in the order they came in.
OK…maybe adjusted one todo list for that boss that todo you.
As most humans we get this satisfaction from checking the boxes. Completing the task.
But one big thing I missed was prioritizing. I never would give any thought on if I complete this task will that benefit someone else.
Will it keep the project moving?
I was focused on just getting it off my list and onto someone’s else’s.
No my problem anymore. My list is cleared.
Or even prioritize things throughout my day that would be for me. Things to make me happy.
As I matured into a Project Manager role. I found that I had this skill to organize, playout the project and anticipate risk and develop a successful project plan. Not just manage a schedule but PLAN!
It wasn’t easy at first, I failed early on. FAILED HARD!
I spent more time updating the tasks than thinking and doing the work. I didn’t listen very well either. I was a talker.
I think that’s when I first learned I was in control of the prioritization. To listen more.
That is how many hours are in a given week.
Did you ever stop and thing about that?
We all say boy time sure does fly.
Like I shared early I was ONLY allowing myself evenings and weekends to do the things I loved.
I get it. It’s hard.
I am not saying you will be able to change with the snap of the fingers. But I want to share 3 things I learned that help me prioritize.
Here they are:
#1 – Do the things you love every single day
#2 – If it takes 2 mins or less just do it
#3 – Make a list of 3 todos each day
Do the things you love every single day. This is number one for a good reason. Why?
As I look back on the days I didn’t spend time with my family. Didn’t do something on my car. Organize, sort, research, buy, trade a sports card. It felt just stressed, burned out, I felt I didn’t spend anytime for me.
Some days work and life crap just happens…it consumes us. But my secret to finding balance was doing the things I love everyday.
When we do the things we love…things that make you happy that create dopamine. Our MOOD!
In addition to our mood, dopamine also affects movement, memory, and focus. Healthy levels of dopamine drive us to seek and repeat pleasurable activities, while low levels can have an adverse physical and psychological impact. When the brain has a healthy level of dopamine, we feel good. Our motivation increases.
I am not saying you can or have the ability to stop in the middle of your day and do that thing. Some jobs we can’t but. Why not do it first thing in the morning before you day starts.
Find that 30 mins…even 15 mins to sort those baseball cards whatever it is and do it everyday.
Think about the one thing that makes you happy. YES YOU!
Now when was the last time you did it?
Yesterday? A week ago?
Do the things you love every single day.
I suggest write that one thing down…go ahead I will wait…
Ok got it…try working it into your day tomorrow, then write directly underneath that thing how you feel because you did it.
#2 – If it takes 2 mins or less just do it.
Remember we only have 168 hours in a given day. Prioritization is your superpower.
After you spend 56 hours sleeping.
40 hours working (that’s if you are only working 40 hours a week).
According to BLS time-use surveys, full-time employed females in the U.S. work an average of 8.33 hours per day, while full-time employed males work an average of 9.09 hours per day.
According to the Center for American Progress on the topic of work and family life balance, “in 1960, only 20 percent of mothers worked. Today, 70 percent of American children live in households where all adults are employed.”. I don’t care who stays home and who works in terms of gender (work opportunity equality for all – it’s a family choice), but when all adults are working within a household with children, that’s a huge hit to the American family and free-time in the American household.
So after you sleep and work you are left with 72 hours to do the things for you!
I found that if a quick task only takes 2 mins just get it done. Don’t procrastinate. Don’t add it to a list. Just respond to that email. Approved that request. Fill that cup of coffee. Look at your list right now I bet there are a few quick tasks you can quick bang out.
Your mind will thank you for completing those quickly. Checkout the book 1 minute manager as well. Great read for anyone thinking they are too busy.
I hear that all the time ahhhhh I am so busy.
I usually respond you are no busier than me or anyone else. You need to decide what and when your priorities will get done.
#3 Make a list of 3 each day.
Years ago I participated in this day long training. They taught us to throw away and stop making full lists on that yellow ruled legal pad of all things we needed to do.
But instead take one BRIGHT ORANGE blank sheet of paper. Just 1 piece from another room. Then take a magic maker and write down the 3 most important things that needed to get done.
You could not do anything else until those 3 todos where completed.
See what this does is force you to focus on the top prioritize, stops you from procrastination to get things done.
Then when you complete that list, start a new list of 3 things to do.