Work life balance – can it actually be achieved? I’m not sure how much of a faith or belief I have in the perennial work-life balance. I think more that work life balance is based on your current obsessions. I think that it’s based on focus in certain areas, and then they become productive, and you get great value to those in your life. And in areas where you don’t have so much focus, they tend to erode.
I’m in bed. It’s 7:30 pm. I think that says a lot about my work life balance. I think first off to achieve work life balance, it depends on your situation. If you’re 21 years old, then you can work for 15 hours a day. Or, you can start a part-time business or a full-time business, living with your mum and dad, with no mortgage, and no car loans, and no school fees, and everything else.
If you’re 31 or 41, you might have young children. Your focus may have to be more on those. They say where your focus goes, energy flows and results show. If you are more focussed on your family, which at that time in your life, it’s obviously going to be an important value to you, then you can’t hustle like all these Americans are telling you.
Then of course, if you’re 61 or 71, you might more want to retire. You might want to slow down. You might want more of a lifestyle business.
I think, your work life balance is going to change through your life. Don’t let anyone give you a soundbitey like this is right, or this is wrong. Always do this, or never do this for your life. That being said, if you really do want to build and grow a good business, or you want to make a lot of money quite quickly, then you have to put a lot of time, and focus, and energy into that. And there’s always going to be a price to pay.
One of the things I’m not sure, I believe, is, the perennial work-life balance. And I just actually saw in one of my Facebook Groups, Jane Bailer. She just said, I’m not sure I believe in it as a concept. I think I agree with her. I don’t believe it as a concept, in that, I don’t think you always have it. And I think, if you’re striving always to have it, I think you’re chasing a dream. There is maybe a delusion. I think you’re going to have balance, or happiness, or fulfilment in areas you focus on.
If you equally focus on business, and family, and health, one-third, one-third, one-third, you’re going to have one-third balance or satisfaction in those areas. If you focus 80 percent on your business, then you’re going to get good results in that area. You’re going to get money. You’re going to get some level of satisfaction and growth. But there’s going to be a cost in the family, or the health, or the fitness.
A lot of people say, “ah, well, there are all these people who are millionaires. They’re really unhappy, and they get divorced.” As if being a millionaire is what caused it. It’s not that. What caused it, is, 100 percent focus in that area or nearly 100, and no focus in other areas. That doesn’t have to be the life you’d choose. You could choose to have 3 main values. Focus on 3 equally.
Again, I’m being put off by someone with the comments about me being in bed. 7:30 pm, I’m getting ready for Game of Thrones. This is late for me.
Where focus goes, energy flows and results show. You don’t have to. You’ll be that person that makes a million or 100 million, and has no family life, and is overweight and maybe, has a heart attack when you’re 50. But the more you focus on the money area, the more obsessive you are, the more you’re going to get results in that area. But the more prices going to be in another area.
I think the thing you can do, which is really beneficial, is, to work out what your highest values area. Try and live your work life balance according to maybe your 3 highest values. And if they are family, business/money and health and fitness, then really you want to get rid of most of the other things in your life, because they’re not hold value to you, and they’re really going to end up distracting you, and your energy, and your focus, and your results away from your important things, and therefore, focus on those.
You can focus on those equally, because that’s your choice. I’ll come back to that. If you have a partner so, a life partner, especially, or a business partner, but more importantly, a life partner. I believe that, if you want to balance family dynamic, now this is quite a controversial according to some of the posts I’ve seen. I posted on one group called, Business, and people went wild, and called me a misogynist and called me like, I was in the 1950s. Maybe, it’s the way I worded it, or maybe, I wanted some reactions.
But let’s say, you’ve got a life partner, husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, whatever. You want a balance family dynamic, then you need to have different priorities, I believe. If you both have business and money as your highest value, who looks after the kids, and the house, and the health, and your personal life stuff? Well, that will end up pretty much going by the wayside. Of course, that will also be a big battle, if you both are breadwinners, and you’re both out there building your empire. There could be a clash. I’m not saying it’s not possible.
If you’re both out there building your empires, you’re going to need nannies. You’re going to need housekeepers. You’re not going to spend as much time with your kids. Okay, you could carry them around with you. And I’ve certainly taken my family around the world, and that’s been great.
But, if your highest value and priority, is, your business and money, it’s okay for your husband or wife’s highest priority to be the house, and the family, and the children. I think a lot of people expect that their partner, they should be to them the highest value.
I whisper this, because my wife is in the house. But I know I am not my wife’s highest priority. I know my children are of high priority to her. I know this. She may not say this to me. She may say, family, and she may say we’re all equally important. But I know, because of where she spends her time and where she spends her money. She’ll spend her money on me. She’ll spend her money on the kids. She spends her time with the kids, not with me. I know this. It was hard for me for a while. But this serves my family dynamic, because, if her highest value was me, and my highest value is business, or if my highest value is building the empires, and my wife’s highest value is that who looks after the children, who manages the household, who looks after our personal affair, et cetera.
I think it’s wise to sit down with your partner, and work out what each of your highest 3 values are, and work out what your highest priorities are going to be, and make sure that they’re different, and they’ll probably be different anyway, and be okay with that. Because you can be your wife or your husband second priority, and still be a high priority. And that liberates you to go and create the mission and build the empire, and then creates a really balance family dynamic.
When people say, oh, my kids are so different, they say it like it’s a surprise. Everybody’s family, their kids are really different. Shy one, extrovert. They’ve different skills and personality traits. That is the natural balanced family dynamic. I think that’s wise to plan that and get your buy-in from your partner so that you can have work life balance.
Work out what your values are. Align them with your partners. It’s okay that they’re not equally high. Create a plan. Have a priority. But of course – they can change. Then what you need to do I believe, is, to compartmentalise your time, and your diary, and your life according to those priorities.
Having this work life balance is about doing the meaningful things of highest priority. Maybe, highest income generation that make you feel alive and fulfilled, that don’t create too many holes and attrition in other areas. I.e., it’s not wise to just do your business all day, every day, and your health get affected. It’s not wise to do your business whole day every day and lose your family. A lot of people say it like, if you do a lot of business, you’ll lose your family. Or, if you do a lot of business and make a lot of money, you’ll lose your caring side, or you’ll lose your health. You don’t have to.
But you have to prioritise and compartmentalise. Going to the gym early. Maybe, listen to podcast at the same time to get your value of business and personal growth met. You have to book in time with your husband or your wife, time with your family and your children, time away from your business. And it’s okay to do that.
I wrote a book called, Routine Equals Results. And in that book, because I’ve been trying to figure out for quite a few years after writing Life Leverage, and retiring and then when I did Money, I really get back into the businesses. When Bobby was doing the World Championships, I retired again. Then this year on my 40th Birthday, I want to go in big again. And I’m kind of going around sort of like, almost endless loop of retire, work hard, retire, work hard.
But a lot of it is life dependent, where I am. Situation dependent, desire dependent. And also, when you fill the value, i.e., fulfilled means filled, the value is filled. That value often goes away. Then you will have another void that will appear in your life. But you’re getting in an area of your life is sorted. But when you get that sorted, the thing you took your eye off, there’s a void and a hole in it. So, you turn around and go and sort your life in that area. Then when you fixed that, there’s a void somewhere else.
Because again, where focus goes, energy flows, and results show. If there’s a reverse coming, it’s like, you focus and get results in one area, and you create a void in another. Like that fair ground game, where the head’s pop up, and you bang them down. But by the time you bang one head down, the other one’s popped up. Then the other one’s popped up, and then the other one’s popped up.
Compartmentalise your diary, and put your highest focus and priority and key result area and income generating tasks in there. That’s work, rest and play. That’s passion and profession. Then try and get a balanced ideal for you, your diary, and then make that a firm recurring commitment.
Always expect that there will never be perfect balance, that you’re always striving to achieve it. But what will happen, is that, it will change over time, and certain areas you’ll master, and certain areas you’ll be a disaster at. I reckon every 6 months, you need to look at slightly re-tweaking and reordering your diary. Time out and time away is okay. For all these hustles and grind is working 15 hours a day, well, you know what, in the end your health and your sleep (there’s massive science on sleep now) are more important.
I think you want to be like Warren Buffett who is still going good. He got really good energy and health. That might be genetic, but it also, maybe, his lifestyle. When you’re 80 or 90, because you’re going to have a lot more success, a bigger legacy, and you make a lot more money so it’s probably better to work 7 or 8 hours a day, and have some rests and recreation within your day than it is to burn yourself out in 3 years, and have a breakdown or some kind of really bad health scare. Because that will end up putting you out for years or back for years.
A lot of people are obsessive about their vision and their values, and that’s good, but it’s also bad. It’s good, because you get results, and you become the best. But it’s bad, because you’re like Steve Jobs, you die when you’re 48 or 50. Or, you have really bad mental health, or bad physical health. I think you can be obsessive in short sharp burst. I think you work really deep in short sharp burst. I think you work long in short sharp burst.
I think also, when you read my book, Routine Equals Results, and you go through that process and that system, you can work your kind of ideal day, and week, and month, and year. Some people like to work 3 days on, 2 days off. Or, 3 days in one business, and 2 days on another business, 2 days off. Or, they like to work really hard for 3 weeks, and then have a week off. Or, they like to do the 12-week, 3-month a year. Or, they would like to work hard for 5 years, and then have a year off. And none of those are actually wrong, or right.
It’s what works for you. What works for me, is, a bit of everything, every day. I’ve done a few hours off, a few hours on. I like to have a few hours on my social, a few hours in my business, a few hours with my family. And when I say a few hours, sometimes, it’s 0.5 hours or 1.2 hours. And I like to have a bit of everything every day.
But some people like to go really deep, and just do one business for 3 days, and then like I said, another business for 2 days. You’ve got to work out what’s right for you, and then make that plan. When people say to you, there’s only one way to work, which is, like, 15 hours a day for 20 or 30 years. I’ve heard people actually say that. Okay, well, maybe, you want to be the best, but will have a terrible life in every other area, go and do that.
You’ve got to think about leverage as well. So, you focus on your key result areas, and your income generating tasks. But then also, you can leverage out low income generating tasks, admin.
You can leverage it out personal PA, have many staff. You can leverage out to people, helping you with your travel, and your arrangements. And maybe, even your marketing or your finances, if they’re good at managing those. I think that what you’re good at, do a lot of and everything else you’re not good at, leverage it out. That will get more done in less time. Like, I wrote in my book, Life Leverage. And don’t assume you have to do everything yourself.
With this hustle and grind, the assumption, is, you have to do it yourself. You don’t. You can work hard on your vision, but not on the hard, hard work. You could work hard on your strategy, but that’s thought hard work, not physical hard work. This culture of you only really feel like you’ve achieved anything, if you’re busy. Well, no! Busy in the wrong things is not work life balance. It’s like the dog humping the tree. The little Westie. Hump, hump, hump. You can hump the tree. Keep humping that tree. Hump that tree all day and all night. Hustle away on that tree. Hump that tree. Grind away at that tree. But you ain’t going to make no puppies humping the tree.
And you can get lost in low priorities. You can get lost in other people’s emergencies. If you don’t have a compartmentalised diary, if you don’t master your time, someone will master your time for them. If you’re not working on towards your vision, someone else will have you working towards their vision. Leverage and compartmentalising time and isolating yourself from distractions, are, all part of your work life balance.
Checking every 6 months and redefining your goals and your diary, is, part of your work life balance. Education versus implementation all part of your work life balance. Working on the business and in the business, all part of your work life balance. Focussing and loving your family, focussing and loving your business, all part of your work life balance. It’s not going to be perfect. It’s going to be a seesaw, that’s kind of be going to be moving constantly.
But finally, if you merge your passion and profession, if you love what you do, and do what you love, if you get your family involved in your work, you teach your kids about money and finances, if that’s what you’re in, when you’re on travel, you do speaking gigs, and masterminds, but you also have your holiday. And it works well a lot of the time. There are some sacrifices that have to be made too. But I think, that’s where you can get the best balance.