You wake up, ugh, another day of work. Is it Friday yet?
You get the kids to school or daycare after a hectic morning and finally punch in at work. Finally, you get to work but have to walk past that one person who’s always smiling and happy, it’s so annoying.
You drone through the day thinking about your weekend plans.
Sure, there are a few faces around the office you like, so the entire day is not wasted. You get to catch up with some pals.
Finally, it’s time to go home. After the commute, it’s basically dinner time when you get home and get the kids to bed.
You sit down and you’re….exhausted. You sit on the couch to rest, and next thing you know it’s getting late and time to go to bed.
Another wasted day…and you think “I wish I had some work-life balance.”
Then you wake up again…
What is Work-Life Balance?
Work-Life balance is the goal of balancing your time between work and other parts of your life including family, social, leisure, and other personal interests…
Guess what. you’re wasting your time…
It’s not because the cause isn’t noble. But then again, people spend their lives trying to find Big Foot, aliens, and the Loch Ness Monster.
If it doesn’t exist, you won’t find it no matter how much you search for it.
A job is like indentured servitude. Unlike indentured servants of the past, you aren’t bound to a specific employer. But, you are bound to employment within the system.
That’s the reason why you’re unhappy and looking for balance
But, you can’t balance that.
Work vs a Job
Work is defined quite simply as an activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. Or it can be an activity done as a means of earning income.
A job on the other hand is a paid position of regular employment.
Do you see the difference?
Work is an activity, a job involves employment. While they are clearly related, at a minimum we need to see they are different.
If you chase the idea of job-life balance, you’ve accepted that you will always have a job and it is separate entirely from and incompatible with your ‘life’.
Some people can accept their role inside the corporate system. That is the person who is always happy at work. They don’t seek work-life balance because they are content.
Maybe they don’t even recognize what’s controlling their lives, or maybe they don’t care.
Either way, that’s not you. You want something more.
On the other hand, if you pursue some activity that you are passionate about and love that also happens to earn some form of money, you are ‘working’.
Here’s the kicker, If it is a personal interest, passion, or hobby, it’s already part of ‘life’.
…and that’s why chasing work-life balance is like chasing a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
You either accept your life as a worker bee, or you are unhappy. There is no way to be a worker bee for a little bit of the time and be a lion on the hunt the rest of the time.
There is simply no way to balance between those two. You need to be one or the other.
You need to accept that you are a worker bee, and be content. OR, you need to be the thing you want to be.
If you are the thing you want to be, there is no need to find a ‘balance’ between being that and being something society needs you to be.
That’s why work-life balance doesn’t exist.
That all being said, achieving balance is a part of all aspects of life.
Eat too much or eat too little, you end up in the hospital either way.
It’s like all those contradictory food studies – wine is good for you one day and bad for you another day. Or maybe this week it’s potatoes that are good for you or bad for you or… who knows?
That’s because literally everything in life needs to be balanced.
But, that’s just life. Why are we looking at all the various pieces of life that need to be on the scale?
Remember, though, a scale can balance things because it has a fulcrum. And, just as with a scale, your life has a fulcrum as well.
All scales have a fulcrum and all lives must have a focus.
This is the singular thing that is most influential in your life, which directs or impacts all other decisions in your life.
For some people it’s religion. They always think about what is written about what God wants. Or they pray and look for guidance on various things.
They act either out of love/respect for what they believe God’s wishes are. Sometimes they act out of fear of God’s judgement.
For other people, their lives are balanced around friends, family, their community, or something similar.
They dress a certain way, buy certain types of vehicles, houses, etc because of how their social group will perceive them.
The job and the life of work is chosen because that is what their peers and parents expect them to do.
They want the acceptance of the group, or perhaps fear their judgement.
If you want to change who you are, you need to change the fulcrum and stop focusing on what’s on the plates on either side
That’s how entrepreneurs are different. We create our own businesses and make that our fulcrum.
Your Business as Your Fulcrum
If you love to do something, you’ll naturally want to do it more and other activities just won’t seem as important anymore.
That’s how entrepreneurs can work 12 hours or more, 7 days per week. They burn with passion for it. The business they are building is everything to them.
Of course, no one can work incessantly with no leisure or time with their family.
Maybe they get their spouse and children involved too. So their passion becomes the family passion. Now they spend time together and build their future.
They make new friends and go to dinner or parties with them. These friends are also entrepreneurs who have intense passion as well.
You raise your children and show them how passionate you are and teach them how to find and cultivate their own passions.
As they get older, they learn that life is not about a modern form of cubical slavery, but instead aboutthey pursue those passions and build balanced lives around what makes them burn.
Soon, everything in your life has some piece of your passion in it in some way.
This is balance.
DIY: Your 5-Step Financial Planning Guide
If you’re starting out to plan your financial future, it can get overwhelming. While many opt for a financial advisor to take care of the entire process, you can always handle your financial planning all by yourself (it’s simple, really) if you’ve got the right tools.
For starters, here’s what you need:
1. Set Goals!
Chalk out your goals—it can be short term, like paying off your card payment bills or long term, to meet expenses like retirement and your kids’ education.
Take a step back and do a reality check. Where do you stand now? How are your cash flows? How soon can you meet your expenses? Create a timeline to achieve these targets (and ensure you meet them!)
2. Do The Math
Calculate your total assets, after deducting the debts—and budget smart. Ditch your debt to stay away from piling on more to your list of financial risks. If you’ve got way too many debts to clear and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of them, here’s a great tool that comes in handy.
3. Build An Emergency Fund
Uncertainties can be hard, more so if they have a significant financial impact—be it an illness, job loss, or even global downturns.
To evade being stranded, ensure that you’ve built an emergency fund (a good start would be to keep aside six months’ worth of expenses), along with solid insurance coverage to back you up.
4. Hire The Right Agents
Apart from the general power of attorney, also ensure you lay out a directive in case a medical emergency comes up (if you’re incapacitated—we know, it’s not the best of thoughts to ponder over). To ensure you plan right, avail the services of an accountant, a real estate planning authority, and a medical power of attorney.
5. Earn Money On Your Money
The final step is to make sure you earn returns off your money. How’d you go about this? To start with, educate yourself. Read, read and read some more—research about what stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs and other financial instruments do. Understand their risks, costs and how you can work on diversifying your investment.
It’s important to invest in something you understand.
Post this, set up your accounts to meet each of your goals—through monthly contribution plans, 401(k)s, low-cost index funds, IRAs or other savings plans. If all these details get you dizzy (or overwhelmingly hard), you’re better off with a financial planner who can do the research and investment planning for you.
5 Time Management Hacks For Your Work/Life Balance
(Editor’s Note: The following article is a guest post by superstar entrepreneur and tech investor Jonathan Schultz.)
Everyone strives to maintain that perfect work-life balance. Having a fulfilling career and healthy home life is a tough combination to achieve, but if you learn how to manage your time well, it can be one. Here are five time-management hacks to keep your work/life balance in check.
HAVE A REALISTIC SCHEDULE
Setting a schedule the night before is a classic trick that is entirely effective. A to-do list allows you to cross off the things you have accomplished and gives you a sense of gratification. It also is a great motivator to keep completing tasks until you have finished everything for the day. The key is to be realistic about what you can accomplish. Don’t jam your schedule leaving little to no room for breaks or downtime. This will do the opposite of helping you maintain a solid work/life balance.
Try this tech: timetrade for Salesforce
BREAK TASKS UP
It can be so overwhelming to look at a huge task you need to do if you don’t break it down into smaller tasks. Instead of trying to clean your entire home in one day, clean different areas of your home on different days. This way, you won’t be overwhelmed by these larger projects and you can actually finish them on time.
Try this tech: Monday.com
SCHEDULE “ME TIME”
If you are constantly working and always on your phone or laptop, there is a good chance you are not relaxing or giving yourself a much-needed break. When you get home from work, put your phone away and revel in some “me time.” Do something to unwind and disconnect from work completely. Take a bath, read a book, watch TV or exercise. Just do something that will help slow your mind down and create a degree of separation between your work and home life. This is one of the most important hacks to maintain a healthy balance.
Try this tech: Toggl
DETERMINE YOUR PEAK HOURS
Are you typically up before the sun or staying away until 2 am? Knowing what time you operate the best at will help you schedule your most tedious and important tasks at this time. If you are a morning person, perform your tasks the require the most focus in the morning. You can use the afternoon or night to do repetitive tasks like making calls or catching up on emails. You may discover that what usually takes you an hour to do in the afternoon only takes you thirty minutes to do in the morning.
Try this tech: Screen Time
Two of the biggest things we neglect are sleep and exercise – two things that can actually significantly improve your productivity. Studies and research have proved that exercise can help keep you alert, making it much easier to accomplish tasks. Of course, getting enough sleep and getting in short naps throughout the day can do amazing things for your mental health and helps you from feeling fatigued and burnt out. If you are more productive at work, you can get home earlier from work and have more time for yourself.
Jonathan Schultz is an entrepreneur, real estate tech investor and influencer. He’s the co-founder of Onyx Equities, a leading private equity real estate firm, and has been voted one of the most powerful people in real estate. Follow Jon’s blog here.