Balance is an essential part of life. That some of us are great at implementing but unfortunately for the rest — we can be the complete opposite. We’re not born with the knowledge and experience, it’s something we gain, build and improve on whilst we move through life. We learn how to balance and manage our work, business, projects, family and so on.
Balance applies to everyone’s life and applies to all areas. Whether it’s work/life or life/work. I know what your thinking, Dom you just said the same thing but the other way round and your right. It seems like the same message but it has a slight twist and difference which makes all the difference in how it’s communicated and received.
How? For some of us, work is the core to our lives and life itself is just an accessory. Those who can relate: we live for what we do. We’re extremely passionate, obsessed with our craft or skills. Or we’re simply just seen as workaholics to those who don’t see it the way we do. But this does appeal to a particular demography who can relate.
Whereas on the other side — life is the core and work is the accessory. Yep, of course some people value their enjoyment of their life over the work they do. That’s completely and utterly brilliant in my eyes. If that’s what you want and it works for you — I have nothing but happiness and best wishes for you. But it does depend on how the perspective you see it from and your situation in life personally.
So now your thinking, what are you trying to get at here Dom? I’m basically saying that with Balance in life — we tend to prioritise either life or work over each other. From the examples I’ve showed above you now understand that some people see life or work as either the core or the accessory.
How does this apply to you? Well do you prioritise life over work or work over life? But how do you apply balance to these? Think about it.
But what about this for a question: Do you live to work or work to live? Great question right? I love it!
A friend of mine asked me this a few years ago and it took me a week to truly observe my life and answer it. I live to work. Why? I’m passionate about what I do and I love that. Without the work I do, I would truly hate living.
Doing the work I’m passionate about makes live extremely more exciting and fulfilling for me. Some who may read this may never understand what I mean and that’s absolutely fine. As I may feel the same towards their lives but its your life and this is mine.
We’ll do what makes us happy right? Great. We’re both happy. Let’s be content with that.
Now let’s dig a little deeper into balance, now what we’ve established the difference between the two types of mindsets to life. But how do we balance and manage everything? I don’t know what works for you all but I’m going to share what works for me.
Right now I have a number of projects going on in my life. Managing ongoing clients, taking on one off projects, freelancing with agencies and other brands to supporting Austieng’s ventures. It’s a lot to manage but I wouldn’t put myself in this situation if I didn’t want to be.
I’m always questioned about why I do so much for my age, it’s because I get bored easily. I love knowing there’s always something that needs to be done. Always. Being bored is not an option for me.
When your working on passion projects managing them is effortless. You’ll stay up all night and work through an entire day not thinking about anything else. All your decisions come from within and you’re more proactive to get things done. This is how it is for me.
How do I manage all these projects? I don’t actually know, it’s hard thing to outline myself. I look at every project as a never ending list. There’s always something to tick off, always something incomplete and always something new to add.
Every project I work on, I create a list of the entire process and outline what I need to do step by step. Task by task. Day by day. Hour by hour. Rather extensive but it allows me to remain focused until the list is completed — thoroughly!
I’ll look at the list of tasks I need to do everyday. Somedays I’ll look at them and go blank. That means my mind doesn’t want to work today, it’s burnt out. But it will soon want to return to the hustle. But for me at the start of working for myself, I wasn’t brilliant at balancing things. It was a weakness of mine until I begun to utilise my strength to be more organised.
Applying this to balancing and managing everything I do on a daily basis improved my entire process. But then I got to the point where I’d be so focused and organised on all my projects I wouldn’t have time to run errands, relax, sleep, go for a walk or spend time with my girlfriend or family.
So I had to adjust to that factor and implement time to keep my life in order. Balancing things. Working a 9 to 5, Mon to Fri only gives you the weekend to do your laundry, go to the dry cleaners, do food shopping and clean your own home.
But being self employed, I can do this any day of the week by adapting all these other aspects of my life around my work. So I could be working at my desk for 5 straight hours and then go to Tesco in search for some Oreos. During the 10 minute walk I’m able to smile familiar faces, enjoy the fresh air and listen to some music.
Then I’ll return to my desk feeling more excited and motivated to continue doing what I was doing before. Your probably wondering, how does this help? Well for me my mind spends 80% of its time thinking about work and doesn’t get time to not focus on anything.
So I give myself regular intervals to distract myself completely, so my mind gets a breather. Refreshes itself. It’s like having a nice car, which is quick and drives exceptionally well. It’s not good if it’s just sitting outside of your house and taking you from home to Sainsbury’s every week.
You need to open up the engine on a long drive or road to fulfil it’s purpose. It’s the same with my mind. It needs to stop thinking about work and start thinking about my health, food, life, love and everything else in life.
I recommend that if you work a lot and work hard, excellent. Keep doing so. But learn to apply balance to your life. Ensure to get sleep and eat well. Don’t hustle until you drop. Hard work and success is a matter of consistency.
Be consistent with working hard but also be consistent with eating and sleeping. It comes hand in hand. Learn how to balance and manage your life. Control it. It is yours you know.