Now we need to talk about life balance.
Whenever I get invited to talk about business, success, or any of the hustle stuff on the weekend, I cringe. Working 7 days a week is a huge no-no for me.
Right now I work Monday – Friday. I promise myself 2 days off per week. Here and there I will even reward myself with 3 days off, such as Wednesday too.
This sounds crazy. How can someone start an online business, make money, and travel working only 4-5 days per week?
What’s even crazier is I only worked 4.5 hours today. I almost never work a full 8 hours, except during a period of extreme expansion.
Effective Work Beats Basic Work
When I first starting doing digital marketing, I struggled to work more than 6 hours in a single day.
This was confusing to me considering that just 2 years ago I was easily pulling 10+ hour shifts at a pizza restaurant. What changed? Is being 20 really that much older than 18?
What changed is the type of work I was doing, as well as the energy required to perform work tasks.
When I was working at the pizza restaurant, I wasn’t working 10 consecutive hours. Sometimes we’d have a relaxed moment for 15 minutes. Sometimes we’d tell jokes in the back.
Now when I was I work 4 hours, I mean I really work 4 hours. It is 100% work, nothing else at all. The amount of time you spend actually working at your job is 20-50% of the time you actually spend at said job.
The other variable is energy. The amount of energy it takes to work in a pizza restaurant is considerably less than creating online marketing campaigns.
Mental energy actually costs more than physical energy. It is easier to mindlessly add on pepperoni with constant breaks than it is to sit down and create a sales plan for a huge corporation.
Creating an effective marketing plan requires focus, creative thought, and an extreme attention to detail that pizza-making doesn’t.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying working minimum wage is easy. It fucking sucks! What I’m saying is that now my work requires more energy, and it pays off in the ability to have more free time.
The point here is that you need to work effectively if you want to be successful. This includes off periods, breaks, and all the good stuff too.
Recent studies have revealed that working more than 4 hours in a day drastically reduces effectiveness in creative work. Past 8 hours, it’s hardly worth it.
Your Brain Always Works
Another thing people need to realize is that your brain is continuously working to solve problems even if you don’t consciously realize it.
A week ago I took a 4-day vacation to Greece, no working aloud. It was fun!
What’s most interesting is that by the 3rd stay I started getting all kinds of business epiphanies popping in my head. I was walking around exploring a park when suddenly I felt compelled to pull out my notes, and write and write and write.
By disengaging, my brain was able to work on my business problems from a different angle.
Different neural pathways were leveraged to find creative solutions. I felt inspired & excited to work on these new things when it came time to working again.
Pleasure Increases Productivity
Doing fun things & living a great life is quite healthy for your brain.
Serotonin, endorphins, dopamine, and other feel-good chemicals actually help new neural pathways to form in your brain.
In layman’s term this makes you smarter. When you’re having a great time, your brain can better tackle your problems!
We are like batteries. We need to be recharged in order to operate at full capacity.
Breaks Increase Inspiration
Last week after returning back from Greece, I did not take as many breaks as I should’ve.
What I found is that my inspiration & joy went completely out the door. It was a hassle to hold the vision when I was doing aspects of work I didn’t enjoy.
By taking breaks, you give yourself a break to re-calibrate. You re-focus on your dream, and know your why.
Work without why is not meaningful work. Without meaningful work, it is impossible to feel fulfilled. If you’re suffering, then what’s the point of working?
This is the process your brain unconsciously goes through when you push too hard. Next thing you know you’ll be watching motivational videos on YouTube, trying to get that “fire” back.
There’s an easier way: stop pushing. If you can’t be inspired, then take a nap. Go on a date. Eat a snack. Go for a walk.
Make sure you also know your why. If it’s meaningful enough, then it’ll naturally arise during your break. At some point you’ll feel inclined to keep working.
You Want To Enjoy Life
What? This is a shocker!
My guess is that you want to enjoy life. You probably want to laugh more, travel more, make more money, have more sex, eat better food, and live a better life.
The problem is that you have an ego. For whatever reason, people think that there is merit in over-working, or they cover up their lack of direction in life by working too much.
Let me tell you, tackling the true problems of life is a challenge. Embracing your faults is difficult. Maybe you don’t have enough friends, or perhaps you don’t have a hobby.
By working too much, these unmet desires are left hidden in the darkness.
Stop working and confront the darkness.
Jealousy & Hatred
Another reason people over-work is because they want to appear “super-human” to others. Or they just want to fit in.
Maybe your parents suffered hard to make every penny. Maybe your culture is work-obsessed.
By working less, others may become jealous and grow to resent you. Is this something you have feared without realizing it?
If someone truly loves & cares for you, they will love you whether you work a 4 hour work week or a 40 hour work week.
One of the biggest challenges towards success is in breaking your reality. By finding a way to make big money working 10 hours a week, you may just find out who your true friends & family really are.
Life is Yin & Yang
There is a work aspect to life, and there is a relaxation aspect to life.
Without work it is unlikely that you will produce money to enjoy life fully. Without relaxation, you will never truly be happy.
When it comes to work, less is often more.
You need to use your brain, not your body, when it comes to work.
Working more than 4-8 hours in a day (depending on your field) is simply ineffective and it comes at a huge cost.
By chilling out to enjoy life, your working hours instantly become more effective as you feel more inspired & engaged to work!
Quit the hustle now & live the life you want.