Humorous and useful video: A talk on work-life balance by Nigel Marsh.
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Filed under: 1.Project Management, 3.Work Life Balance, ALL Posts
NOTE: This article has been abstracted from a talk by Sterling and Jay, the brains behind an incredibly successful internet business. The habits listed here relate to internet business, but can equally be adapted to any area of work you are involved in. To know more about them, and to get free access to one of their most popular audio programs ever – The 3 Pillars of Designing Your Ultimate Internet Lifestyle – go to Get 3 Pillars
How can you make 2011 the best year ever? What do YOU want this year to look like for you?
To make this year the best, we should be spending more time this year doing those things that will not only make us more successful and make more money, but also importantly doing things that will leave us fulfilled, and will deliver better value to other people. Continual success often comes down to some having very fundamental ideas, habits and systems in place. These habits need to recur, and need to be regularly revisited and looked at.
The Power of Habits
We may or may not all have plenty of discipline. The problem lies in the fact that often we are disciplined to habits that are not in line with the goals that we want to achieve. And so the key to experiencing increasing amounts of success is to form new habits, new habits that are now in line with the places that we want to go to, the things that we want to achieve, the goals that we want to reach.
So how do you form new habits?
The way that you form a new habit is by doing it daily and tracking it for 21 days straight. That’s how long it takes to re-form those pathways in our brain and whatever muscle memory might be involved. To make it part of the daily routine, do it for 21 days straight. Then you’ll find that you no longer have to think about it very hard. And the key is that you’ve got to not just do it, but you’ve got to track it. That’s how you’re going to keep yourself accountable and know that you actually have been doing it.
It is best if you can make it part of a routine where maybe at the same time every day you go into doing that thing. You do it and you track it on a calendar that you did do that thing. And then after 21 days you can move on to the next habit.
If you form a new habit every 3 weeks, think how many great new habits you could form over this new year.
How many habits should you work on at a time?
A usual New Year’s resolution list is a list of ten or twenty things that we want to change right now, such as “Oh I want to lose weight”, “ I’m going to go and re-sign up for my gym membership”, “I want to read more books so I’m going to start reading more books right now”, and so on.
In the real world, it’s hard to change more than one habit at a time. So you need to pace yourself. Keep it simple, just do one habit at a time. But if you do a new habit every three weeks then things are going to really add up. When forming a habit, schedule a time every day to practice the habit. Now preferably that will be the same time every day so that it becomes part of you. Consistency is powerful in forming a habit.
Recommended 7 Habits to Make 2011 the Best Year Ever
Habit 1 - Be Very Proactive About Your Learning
Put into action this ‘just in time’ learning idea of only spending time learning things that you are going to be putting into action right away. Set aside time where you spend your time learning. Sometimes we tend to become knowledge junkies. We keep learning things, but don’t apply them. Determine that you will spend time on learning ONLY things that you will apply right away, where it is going to help you grow your success.
Habit 2 - Consistently Work on Areas that Will Bring You Success
Consistently work on areas that will bring you success, and schedule the times that you’re going to do it. For example, you may decide to work on your business every day Monday through Friday for an hour or half an hour. You are going to do it from 9-9:30 after you put the kids to bed, or it’s going to be first thing when you wake up in the morning – you are going to get up a little earlier and it’s going to be from 6 AM -7 AM, and then you go exercise and eat breakfast. Plan it in whatever way it works for you and your schedule. But plan it so that you’re consistently working on your business, and even scheduling it in your life.
Even if it’s a 5 minute thing that you plan to do, make sure it’s on a schedule. It becomes more real when it is scheduled somewhere, on Google calendar for example. You can color code different types of calendars, you can color code a new habit, so that when you look at the schedule for the week it just seems real and solid, and you can see your schedule for your new habit easily.
Habit 3 - Create a content creation schedule and be consistent with it
Our business and our audience, and our lists, and our income all grow the most when we’ve been very consistent about creating our show, our audio show, the podcast goes out in a number of other channels as well. We start being very consistent about having them come out every Thursday so that the audience knows what to expect. That consistency has helped a lot in growing our business, because the content is what attracts the attention of our market. It immediately pulls them in, and we show up in iTunes, we show up in Google, we show up in YouTube, we show up in these different places and that’s how we get traffic. And then we bond with our audience because of this great content we’re putting out. And sticking to that schedule is important, because it’s that consistent creation of fresh content that creates a very loyal audience for you that are going to be ready to buy.
Habit 4 - Reach Out to a Current or a New Partnership Relationship Daily
There’s so much in business that is about relationships. One of the fastest ways to grow your business is to have people that you’re partnering up with in strategic ways. It may be to do cross promotions, or to have them be an affiliate for you, or they’re creating content for your site or you’re creating content for their site, or a mastermind relationship or a business partnership relationship. These kinds of relationships hold us accountable, they bring us new opportunities, they bring us new traffic.
You could also find an accountability partner, just one person checking up on you, “Hey, did you stay on track?” Or sharing their progress, “Here’s what I did today” to inspire each other and keep each other on track. With your accountability partner, decide that for the next three weeks every day at the end of the day you are going to check in with each other for five minutes on how each progressed on their plans for the day.
Habit 5 - Track Your Time Daily, Evaluate How You Used It
This has a huge, huge, huge impact on our business and success. Make sure that we’re spending enough time on money-making activities and not just on random clean up activities. Also make sure that we’re not working too hard. Make sure that we actually stop ourselves when we hit whatever our current goal is, and we step away then for the rest of the day and spend time with our family or our friends, or doing other personal activities.
Habit 6 - Measure How Much of Your Time You Spend on Your Most High Value Actions
Once you are in the habit of tracking your time, the next is to decide what are your most high value actions right now. High value actions are the things that will directly lead to bringing in new money / success, things that are in line with your biggest business goals right now. For you the high value actions may be bringing in new traffic, or getting your business started, or learning the ropes of this whole internet business model so that you can get started. So, choose a high value action, plan out how much time you will spend each day on it, decide what those two or three things are that you’re going to do towards this high value action, and measure how much of your time each day you actually spend on doing the things you planned.
Habit 7 - Spend Time Daily Working on Something that Will Bring in New Money
This is an advanced habit. It’s a combination of a traffic habit and a time habit. Sometimes we can get caught up in all the different facets of our business and sometimes forget to make money or do the things that will lead us to money. Maybe it is that we spend four hours going through a course and feeling real good about ourselves because we got through the course. But did we spend any time today actually implementing something that’s going to bring in that new money?
There are four main areas that bring new money to your business – (1) bringing in new traffic, (2) converting traffic to become customers, (3) creating new value to give customers, and (4) retaining existing customers by upselling them or getting them into a continuity/membership program. Doing something on a daily basis in one of these areas will eventually lead to more money in your business, and so it’s a good habit to get into. Then track your action for the next three weeks.
Work on these 7 habits this year, and you will surely make this year the best ever.
Please feel free to share your comments about this article, and also how you plan to apply it, or your experience in applying it.
This article has been abstracted based on an audio a talk by Sterling and Jay, the brains behind the “Internet Business Mastery Academy”. To know more about them, and to get free access to one of their most popular audio programs ever – The 3 Pillars of Designing Your Ultimate Internet Lifestyle – go to Get 3 Pillars
Different people have different opinions of what work-life balance is. To some it is fixed and regular work hours. To some it is more time outside work. To some it is learning more to grow faster in their career.
Definition of Work-Life Balance
We need to have a common understanding of what we mean by work-life balance. For the context of this website, I would like to define it as:
Work-Life Balance is balancing between achievement at work, and contentment outside work.
This definition does not talk about number of hours spent at work, or outside work. In the world that we live in today, we transact with people across the globe for our day to day work. We necessarily need to work across different time zones. Gone are the days of a desk job from 9 to 5. We need to come to terms with how we can achieve work-life balance in this “flat” and “virtual” world.
Achievement At Work
In one way or the other, achievement at work means recognition for work done and corresponding career growth. To get this we need to:
- Add great value to the organization
- Add great value to the supervisor
- Add great value to the customer
If the customer is happy, the supervisor is happy, and the organization is happy. This provides the best chances for recognition and growth in career.
Contentment Outside Work
To have a sense of balance in life, excellent work should be balanced with fulfilling things outside work. To get this we need to:
- Have and use time with family
- Have and use time for oneself
- Have and use time to do other meaningful and fulfilling things (such as charity)
This is an introduction to Work-Life Balance. We will discuss more detail in future posts.