This is Part 1 in the Apt Design 2011 Ebook Series – Creating Work/Life Balance.
Click here to get the book and see the whole series.
Does it sometimes feel like you’re running the rat-race full-tilt and yet you don’t even know why you’re doing it? So many of us don’t know what we want out of life, so we just do what everyone else is doing and what anyone else tells us we should be doing. (And I don’t just mean our bosses or our clients, I mean our culture in general.)
If you don’t know what you are living and working for, you are subject to working for anything and everything. When you live like this every activity has just as significant a demand on you as everything else. There’s no reason not to work late, take on more projects, spend more time doing something you don’t want to do, or be involved in activities you don’t really love.
Until you know what actually do want you can’t start cutting out the things you don’t want.
Its time to reclaim your life, your energy, your time and your thoughts. The first step in achieving a good work/life balance is to figure out what you want from life.
Write it Out
The best way to remember and focus on anything is to write it out. Take some time to dream and brainstorm about what a great life for you looks like. Try to think up 100 things you want to do, be or have. But don’t just think about this stuff – write it down! Making things concrete makes them real and can help you know exactly what you want to move towards. If you are a goal-oriented person, write out some goals whose achievements will carry you closer to what you want from life.
“I Already Know What I Want”
If you have already spent time in the past deciding what you want out of life, good!, you’re a step ahead. But we are often consumed by the overwhelming demands of daily chaos, activities and todos and forget what we’re working towards, what we’re working for. We need reminders to keep us focused on the bigger picture sometimes. Business owners and freelancers are especially susceptible to being overtaken by their work. This is too bad because we are often those who have the most control over being able to make our work fit our life.
If you’re getting caught in the undertow you may need to pause and remember why you are doing what you are doing.
Do This Now:
Take 10 minutes and write down what your Ideal Day would look like. Be as specific as you can starting as you wake up and working through each hour of your day. Remember, this is your ideal day, so dream big. What kind of work would you be doing? With whom? What would your home life look like? What kind of environment would you live in? Now you have something to work towards. Read this Ideal Day monthly or quarterly and start making changes to make every day more like your Ideal Day.