All of our lives are balancing acts.
With commitments, family, kids, jobs, side-hustles, and more, it can be difficult to juggle all of our demands. It can get to a point where we feel overwhelmed or neglect certain things.
Of course, in response to that, there is no short supply of advice that’s been given by influential people on how to balance your life. Often times using themselves as a reference.
Gary Vaynerchuk has said in the past to devote most of your time to working. In fact in his recent book Crushing It, he’s encouraged his followers to make it big on Twitter by spending practically all day on there. To quote from that book:
On day two, you do it again — for four to six hours, or as many as you can spare when you’re not at work or school. Remember, eleven minutes is more than zero, but also remember, twelve minutes gives you more at bats to win than eleven.
Day three is a Saturday. Awesome! It’s your day off! That means you can spend ten to seventeen hours…
Peter Voggd has also suggested in his book 6 Months to 6 Figures to dedicate years to your business and have no social life.
But I disagree with those ideas.
Yes, I’m sure that the methods that these two have expressed are quite effective. After all, those two individuals have put those statements to practice in the past to bring them to where they are now.
But that comes at a price.
And I know that spending time networking, even to have a social life, can be effective. Furthermore, I think that spending your entire day on social media is rather insane. To work eighty-hour work weeks is straining.
And yes, I know some people would disagree and prefer grinding out those insane hours. But that’s not the only effective method of growing a business and upgrading your life. Recall Tim Ferris does a lot in the four hour work week.
I think that we can all learn to balance our lives, or at the very least be able to allocate enough time to the things we want to do. But this is still going to take some planning.
Below are the steps that I think are most appropriate for achieving a balanced life and still making ample progress in the process.
Start By Assessing, Then Make Adjustments
What I’m suggesting is similar to what Gary Vaynerchuk and Peter Voggd suggests. After all, there is still is a shred of effectiveness in it. However how you get to it is different.
Instead of doubling down on work and solely work, take some time to look at your life.
When you understand yourself, you know what’s important to you and in those cases that’s where you spend your focus on. For me, right now as I’m writing this, it’s my business first, my family second, and making connections third.
Each one is important in their own way. Making connections can allow me time to relax and hang out while also progressing in my business too perhaps. My time hustling can also give me more time to the other two areas of my life as well.
Every day and every week I do a balancing act of all of those things. I prioritize my business so that I may enjoy time with my family and network with others later in the day or the week. This also explains why I get outside and work outside of my room as well.
With priorities, those are mine. Yours could be different and that’s alright. But it’s important to know that and how each priority feeds into one another.
You want to make sure you are spending the right amount of time on what you want to do.
If you are making promises to groups that you have no interests in, your priorities aren’t straight.
Spend Some Alone Time
The other thing you want to do is regardless of your priorities, have some time to yourself. Call it “Me Time” or whatever, there’s actually a lot of benefits for it. From improving your health to getting that breakthrough idea, alone time can be powerful.
For me, my alone time has been spent when I go for the occasional walk. This helps me reorganize my life and my priorities. For others it could reading a book, listening to music, or something else entirely. It doesn’t matter.
The thing with being alone is that in the end you get to learn about yourself. Whether you like it or not, you are stuck in the body you are in right now. So the better you appreciate yourself and your company, the deeper the understanding and the bigger the benefits you get.
I can understand some people may be reluctant to the idea.
Being alone some times suggests that people are depressed or in general lonely.
That’s not the case.
It’s better to be alone with you and your thoughts than to be around someone who holds you back.
By being alone you understand yourself better and know which people you want in your life to help you grow.
This is why I’m so selective of my friends.
Not because I’m lonely, but because I want the right people in my life.
Deepen Your Understanding Of Yourself
With this alone time, you can use that time to deepen your understanding of yourself. Going back to what I said above, I know my priorities because I spend time with myself. I’ve allocated specific time to those things based on what’s happening in my life.
I do that by doing what I call “taking inventory” which is looking at my current problems and how I can fix them. At the time of writing this, my main issue is money. So the solution is to work hard and strategically grow streams of income that can support me.
Because this is my priority, those other two aspects take a backseat. Especially after looking at those aspects.
I don’t hang around my parents much simply because it doesn’t help me. They live a very routine lifestyle that’s different from mine. But it also doesn’t benefit me or my goals. As such I devote a lot of time towards hustling.
With connections, I do place more emphasis on it because people can help my business. After all I’m a writer. So growing connections is important and I do devote some time. But not as much as working.
My point in all this is once you take inventory and look at your situation, you can understand what needs to get done. Furthermore you’ll be able to prioritize certain things over others once you hit a certain point.
This in essence will balance your life.
A Balanced Life Starts With You
You are the only person who knows how to balance your life properly.
To do that figure out your priorities and go from there.
Start trimming out the things that you don’t need in your life or don’t help you at all.
From there, focus on the things that you do want to do and grow from there.
How you go about it is up to you, but spending time alone can deepen your understanding and I think you can find a solution faster that way. I know this because the strategy that I shared above leaves my day with satisfaction.
Even though I’m tipping the scale far more in my hustle, it’s still balanced with regards to my vision, goals, and also what’s happening around me.
That’s what a balance life means…
Having enough time in the day to do everything you want properly and end the day with a sense of accomplishment.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon
This post is part of an 3 month writing challenge that I’m committing myself to. Every day for 3 months, I’ll be writing articles with specific criteria in mind. You can learn all about my reasoning as well as what that criteria is right here. This is 53 of 91 of this series.
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