Do you constantly feel as though you are low on energy? Do you want to pursue your dreams but life seems to always get in the way? I am going to show you how to start making your life reflect what is important to you.
For a lot of us, we fall victim to allowing people places and things dictate who we are, how we should behave, and the degree of impact our lives have.
A good work life balance inverts that pattern of behavior. Once we start allowing ourselves to dictate the impact we have on people places and things, now all of a sudden the ownness of our happiness is our responsibility.
There is no room for excuses in an effective work life balance.
The easiest thing we can do is complain about why we are not where we want to be. An object in motion tends to stay in motion while an object that is not moving is likely not to move. A healthy work life balance is one that is in constant progressive motion.
Before becoming a full time blogger, I was constantly exhausted from running the rat race. It took a pandemic and me being fed up with the life I was living while in corporate America before I was able to be real with myself and say, “hey something is not working”.
A lot of us are great at identifying the problem but are slow to execute on the changes necessary to improve our quality of life. This is called learned helplessness. Simply put, a person can get so used to being in a bad situation, that they do not think they deserve to be in a better one.
By developing an effective work life balance you put yourself back in the driver seat of your life, and take away the power that any circumstance may try to impose on you.
Step one: fluid compartmentalization
As we begin to dive in, know that this takes work because you are literally going to have to change how you see the world around you. This is an intense mental skill that affects how you think about things.
If you are expecting that your life will change instantaneously by applying these strategies you are greatly mistaken. Repetition is the mother of learning, so you have to ingrain these skills into your daily life before anything tangible will start to materialize… But I am a living witness that it is worth it.
Fluid compartmentalization means that you can change your state of mind on the fly. As a business man I am constantly in different circles of people, and in situations that require different things from me at any given point.
I live my life in such a way that I can be a comrade, confidant, investor, advisor, doer, activist, or whatever else that I need to be whenever I need to be it. Work is work, but work can sometimes come up outside of traditional work hours.
By being able to place every activity you engage in, within a certain box in your mind, you can assess who you need to be while doing that activity.
We sometimes allow certain areas of our lives to spill over into other areas… That has to stop. I used to get off from work at 5:30pm every day, and right after I would drive home and go back to work. I was letting a job dictate my life, the problem was, the job only saw my life as being worth a certain amount of money a year.
Once I realized that I am worth way more than what some people I do not even know tried to tell me I am worth, I started reclaiming my most valuable commodity in time. Fluid compartmentalization allows me to tell my time where it’s going and how its going to be spent as opposed to the other way around.
In the same way, now when I engage in whatever it is I choose to engage in, there is a different part of me that I allow to do that activity. “Blogger Ken” is different from “hanging out with friends Ken”, which is different from “me time Ken”. This is purposeful yet not stagnant.
If I need business Ken at 4:25pm, guess who shows up at 4:25pm? Business Ken. If I need Ken who likes to workout to make himself present at 2:16am, guess who shows up at 2:16am, Ken who likes to workout.
Living like this allows me to identify what is important in my life, how much energy I should give it, and whether or not what I am doing is truly adding value to me and or those around me.
Step two: Do something you Enjoy
When I was working a nine to five, I did not consider that time apart of my day. My job was what I had to do to generate income, it was not who I was. It is important that you make this distinction for yourself.
It’s called work life balance because the two should be balanced out. Your work should be equivalent to your quality of life, and not solely monetarily.
Any thing that you do for the primary purpose of making money will not satisfy you. I became an entrepreneur because my passion is in helping people first and foremost. I became a blogger because I discovered a passion for writing and I see it as an ideal method of expression.
If you are not doing something you enjoy you become lifeless.
I would literally work my full shift, do work at home if I had to and chose to, then “get my day started”. Getting my day started looked like going to the gym, writing a blog post, reading, working on my website’s SEO, and hanging out with friends and family. That’s what I valued so that is what I gave my time to.
Once again this is not as easy as it sounds because there were days where I would be up until 3am completing whatever I had to accomplish on my personal to-do list. And there were weeks when I had the same to-do list for several days.
However, I was intentional about what mattered to me because not only do I enjoy what I am doing in the form of blogging, but I also allowed myself to see the full potential in this opportunity.
Most of what I do boils down to practicality, and living a life that is not enjoyable is not practical to me.
Step three: Have a Regimen
To have a healthy and effective work life balance, you must have a reset button. This is an activity you do that puts you in a proper state of mind to conquer your day.
My primary reset button is working out and showering. As simple as it sounds, I know that if I am unsettled in any area of my life, if I go through my regimen I will get back on track.
I treat my life as if it was a conveyor belt. Regimen, work, time for others, time for me. I can tell people exactly where I am in my day in terms of how far along on my proverbial conveyor belt I am.
Because I am mentally fluid when tackling various tasks, I can rise to any challenge that presents itself throughout the day without becoming overwhelmed or flustered.
That’s the point of having a regimen: What do I have to do to make sure that I am always ready to be effective and impactful.
And when I say regimen I mean a set routine of tasks that never change no matter how often you do them. I conduct my regimen in a certain way every day, the only thing that is likely to change is the time of day.
You have to get so granular with your regimen that you are not able to sleep at night knowing that you did not complete it for that day, or that you missed/skipped a step.
Additional tips and tricks
While trying to apply these steps to your life to create a happy healthy and effective work life balance, here are a few things you should also be considering:
What is your Goal
What are you running towards? Do you have a vision for yourself 5 years from now? You cannot go where you cannot envision. I literally have journals filled with different nuances of the same vision. I know exactly what I am running towards, and here is the key: I am not willing to allow anyone or anything stop me from getting there.
My future life is just that important to me. Do you have something that is so important to you that you will not let anything get in the way, not even yourself?
Time is Money
I do not intentionally waste my time anymore. People, places, and things do not get more time of me than I allow of them. My presence is a present.
You have to become covetous of your time. It is literally the only thing we do not get more of. The richest people in the world will tell you, the thing that matters to them the most is their time. We can generate money, we cannot generate time. Everyone may not be able to get rich, but literally everyone dies.
Once you realize that every time you wake up you are also another day, another hour, another minute, another second, and another millisecond closer to your literal death, meaning no more air traveling through your lungs; you will start acting as if your time matters more than what you feel like doing, who wants to see or talk to you, or how much money you do or do not make.
Me Time is Important
How do you revitalize your spirit? This is not the same as having a regimen. Spirit revitalization comes primarily from a hobby. What do you do for yourself that makes everything else that you do worth it?
I am thankful that my passion is my hobby and my business, however, that may not be the case for everyone. It was not always the case for me. I used to look forward to being able to play video games after a long day or going to the bar. Now, writing and having an impact on others is what replenishes me.
What is it that you enjoy doing: writing, taking pictures, drawing, sowing, bike riding, cooking, socializing… whatever it is do it every day at least for an hour. This is the art of making time for yourself.
Are you important enough to yourself that you are willing to make time for you?
There are times where I will purposefully not answer my phone because talking to someone or dealing with something is almost never as important as my me time.
If you want a work life balance that is proactive and yields the results of the desired life that you want, organize every area of your life in a way that makes sense to you. Pursue work that you are passionate about and is meaningful to you; And set up a routine that will keep you on track no matter what life throws at you.
Do you have a healthy work life balance, if so how do you maintain it, and if not what could you do to improve it? What is a hobby that you enjoy doing that recharges you?
Join the conversation and share your perspective in the comment section below!