Some people really don’t enjoy work…At all!
However, there is a group out there, the dedicated career bunch who just love it. Many are striving for career progression and others are looking for a short work week, but all are looking for a high return.
I’m one of the weird ones, I actually quite like working hard. That’s just me. Whether it’s for your own business, for a big or small company, from home or working away… There are pros and cons to all of the categories.
I have friends who work for themselves and have ‘good months’ and ‘bad months’ financially, friends who work in a typical office who have zero responsibility but less time to enjoy the money they’ve made.
I have also met people who have online businesses and live in exotic countries, they too have moments where they miss family or some kind of structure, and of course, this is different for everyone.
It’s really about making your work, work for you. That’s the win.
Here’s my guide on how to make your work, work for you, which in my mind is how to beat the rat race, achieve financial success and discover personal fulfillment.
Step one: Be clear on your GOALS (please visit practical Goal Setting)
Why are you working? What exactly are you working towards? Why do you want the money your job will pay you? What are you going to do with it when you get it? What drives you?
The important categories are:
Short medium and long term.
So many questions, I know! However, once you are completely clear on exactly what you are working towards, it will make the rollercoaster of work and the ‘work-life balance’ a whole lot easier to manage.
You need to know exactly why you are getting up each day and what it is that you are working towards. It’s important.
Type them up and save them.
Step two: Create Balance
If your work is demanding, whether that be because it requires a whole lot of concentration, or perhaps it’s a particularly busy environment and can zap you of energy by the time it gets to 3 pm.
You may work shift work and it can feel tricky to flick your body back into balance, especially when motivating you to get to your physical exercise.
This is the quite confronting, not so secret, ‘secret’ that is the hardest to accept but most beneficial once you do.:
You must make time for yourself to regroup
You must make time for yourself to regroup, getting out of the parasympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) mode and out of your head. As in, you must.
Let’s say you work 8 hours, potentially more, a total of perhaps about an hour travel to and from, you need to eat, sleep, clean etc… there are 24 hours in a day. 1 of those hours, even 30 minutes, needs to be your own investment into yourself.
Once I realized how much time I invested into work, friends, family, the house and my other commitments, I realized that one single hour invested into myself out of 24, isn’t all that much considering my body and mind are working so incredibly hard for me in all other aspects.
This can come in a wide variety of forms, pick one outlet that you like and make a contract with yourself, this is your investment into your mental and physical health so that you can achieve your goals and dreams. A 10-minute walk, a morning meditation, a yoga flow, a bike ride, an at-home workout, a run… whatever! The busier your life the more you need it. The more stressful the job the more important this is to fit in. This is what will create your balance, in your ‘work-life balance’.
Step three: Make a SCHEDULE
You know what you are working towards, you know what you need to provide your brain and body the support it needs to get you there. Now, this part sounds simple, maybe you already have in your mind what your week looks like. However, the power of laying it all out, with times – pen to paper, is actually invaluable.
You’ll discover that potentially, to reach your goals – you may need to wake up half an hour earlier than you do now, you will begin to get clear on how much free time you have and exactly what you need to do and when to ensure work and life are in balance.
Perhaps you work long hours and don’t have time to get to that spin class or free yoga class around the corner! Well, the truth is, you do have time, it’s important to lay it all out in front of you so you know what you are working with. You will be amazed at how organizing your schedule will impact your work life balance.
Type it up and save it.
Step four: Print and Laminate
Weird one, right? For me, this exercise works wonders. You have everything you need to keep you on track.
Print it, make it bold and make it clear. Laminate it (it feels so permanent like you are really committing now) and have it stuck up on the wall next to where to get ready in the morning or right by your bed, or both! On the door, as you leave, this stuff wants to be glaring you in the face. Your goals and your schedule carefully thought out to ensure you reach them, right there in front of you, to remind you every single day. You are no longer drifting through life running from one errand or commitment to the next, you have a purpose, a plan and are clear on what you are doing and why.
Our brains have an abundance of ‘unconscious’ thoughts, all day every day, lets program our brains to see our clear intentions as often as possible, so productive thoughts will be spinning around both consciously and unconsciously. This really works for me, try it.
Step five: Celebrate your wins!
Now, this is the best bit. No matter if it’s a ‘big win’ or small win, celebrate it! Tell your family, tell your colleagues, in fact, start telling anyone who will listen! It’s infectious! Not only for you but also for the person you are telling.
This energy collects, momentum forms and those little wins start to turn in to big wins. Did you go for your 10-minute morning walk today? Great! Tell the guy who hands you your flat white!
Coffee guy: “How are you?”
Me: “I’m amazing, I finished my morning walk and now I’m set up for the day, you?”
Coffee guy: ”Oh awesome, I might have to have a go myself”.
Ok so not every conversation happens like that but I can tell you, it’s a breath of fresh air and hugely uplifting to hear someone comment on what they did to invest in their wellbeing. Celebrate your wins, treat yourself if you get five little wins in a week – Try the new restaurant, get the watch, have a beer or whatever it is your heart desires, start giving yourself a pat on the back for doing the things you’ve set out to do.
If you have an off day, that’s ok, dust yourself off and look back at your goals and remind yourself, why are you doing this? Then get back into it the next day with no judgment of yourself, get your head back in the game and work towards those goals! Celebrate your wins and enjoy that energy.
I would love to hear from you, what goals are you working towards? How did your laminated goals and schedules turn out, you can get creative! What contract have you made with yourself to invest in your wellbeing? Let me know!