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7 things To Do when Work-Life Balance is a Pain in the Ass

Getting our shit together is not always easy when work is taking over. The non-stop work-flow never ends, even though we know this is not how it’s supposed to be. We tell ourselves it’s just for a while, for this project, or that client. Fact is, that it probably won’t change until we exhaust ourselves and decide it’s been enough. So, don’t wait until you drain yourself: get going with these Seven things you can start changing today.

 Your Inbox: When Shit’s got to Stop

We all know how it works, right? We shouldn’t email after certain hours, yet we change our own rules constantly, depending on how full our calendars are and how big the workload. No email after 6PM on really good days, but that rarely happens. Or no email after 10PM, just to make sure we will not miss the latest important message that just got in. And so it goes. One day we manage better than the other and we just keep going. And yes, we know we shouldn’t do that shit. What to do? In stead of making this a never-ending story in your head, this week you commit to a time after which you will not read your email, and promise yourself a nice celebration during the weekend when you made it happen. What is your ideal no-more-email time? Stick to it. You will want to plan it for next week. It’s that good.

Saying No to Shit

A huge Nomad challenge, because well, work is money! But although we try to convince ourselves there is always space for more, we know deep inside we can’t keep going like this. It might sound difficult, but this works actually amazingly simple. If people know you will say yes, they will keep coming. They can smell you from a thousand miles away and will find you wherever you are. So you better get this shit straight. Are you a Yes-sayer? Start practicing being a Naysayer. Choose 3 conscious moments in the next 7 days when you feel that Yes-saying coming up while the voice in the back of your head screams No, and Say Nay.

 Be a Smartass (work smarter, not harder)

Clean up the freaking clutter! All those things that absorb our time like there is no tomorrow yet make us feel like we didn’t do shit at the end of the day? Meetings that take too long, distractions on social media and a hundred app-notifications… Get rid of all that shit: be clear on what you want from a meeting and walk the talk. Turn off all those notifications and close the browsers you don’t need. I know you know. I know too. We do not need to go through therapy for this. Just turn that shit off. Try it for 3 days. Your life will change. Or at least your output will. Big time.

 Leave Shit at Work

Now especially for Nomads, this is really tricky, because our work is everywhere where we are. And that is exactly the reason why this is so important. Work times are not going to present themselves through office hours, so we’ve got to make the rules ourselves. So think about it for a second. You know yourself. You know what works best for you. You know what your peak hours are. Think about it and work something out. I, for example, am not a morning person, so I do not work before 10.30AM. I do things that make my morning a good startup. Workout, breakfast, coffee, a little bit of time-wasting and at 10.30 I turn on office hours. Ok, forget about my midnight clients because they are on the other side of the planet in an impossible time zone. I start late, I finish late. That’s how I like it and I plan free hours in between. What is your perfect starting time? And at what time do you need to close shop so you can have a life and dream about something more exciting than work? Can you do it for one week? Of course you can. Leave shit when it’s time to leave. And no, no checking emails either after that.

 Forget about Shit being Perfect

You know what this is about, right? This is about letting shit go. It can always be bigger, better, bolder. But good can actually be good enough. It doesn’t always have to be The Shit. Accept that it is what it is and that you don’t always have to produce more shit. You work hard and you can be proud of that. Deliver. Smile. Be proud. You’ve done a great job.

 Prioritize Shit

One hundred things on your plate? Always convincing yourself you can handle it? I continuously had myself trapped in this one for years, but it just doesn’t work. When shit hits the fan, you’re way beyond having things under control. So before you start your day, choose a maximum of three things (yes, three, not four or six) that are your priorities for the day. Work on those and not on any other until it’s done. Easily distracted? Write your priorities on the walls, on your screen, on the mirror, on your forehead. But stick to your list and get shit done.

 Have a Proper Lunch Break! No Shit!

I guess there is no explanation needed here. We really do not need to move left and right between our mouse and our plate. We know how much better we cope with afternoon work when we give ourselves a proper break! So start eating lunch away from that laptop or else, eat…… You got it. Seriously. Decide how and what and make it a daily gift to yourself so you can work as smart as you want afterwards.

 Small Shit vs. Big Shit

Don’t be too hard on yourself. When its time for shit to change, don’t put yourself under the pressure of changing it all at the same time. It will become a pile so big you can’t even begin to oversee it. So start with choosing one or two things a week. Small shit is always better to deal with than big shit. Add your commitments and reminders to your calendar; they are just as important as everything else in in there. Keep cleaning up for about 3 to 4 weeks you will have your shit together in no time. A simple example to make shit easier:

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