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We Need To Talk About Work-Life Balance


TRANSCRIPT AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED Hey, Hey, whoa. This was not the episode that I was intending to share this week. But I've had this same conversation. Two or three times in the last two weeks. And it feels like there's something that we all need to have a conversation about. And that is separating our work and personal lives as entrepreneurs. So if you've been listening for a while, you know that I've been in the depths of an MBA on organizational happiness and And there's one study I found when I was researching for my final project, where. In the pandemic. Where people went from working in offices. To working at home. The loss, their commute. Right. And if you think. Logically about what should have happened in that situation. They would have taken the extra time to sleep in a bit longer, or to do a hobby at the end of the day, or maybe spend time with their families. But in reality, they Workday's got longer Pyne average of 45 minutes. So this study looked at emails and meetings, and so they looked at. When did, , the first email or meeting on the day happen. And when did the last email meeting of the day happen? And I was entrepreneurs, many of us work from home or remotely. And so we already had these blurry lines for those boundaries between work and home. And sometimes that's a great thing. When you can meet a friend for coffee mid-morning or you decide you need a spontaneous lion, or you want to sit outside because it's a gloriously sunny day after a long, cold gloomy, one time. But on the flip side, it can be harder to know when you're done for the day. To not just quickly check that email or answer a DM. While you're while you're watching Netflix after dinner. And this is the conversation I seem to be having on repeat at the moment where people are telling me that they're struggling with that line. They want to work fewer hours, but they struggled too. Put an end to the Workday. As small business owners, we don't have a, to do list that you can check off and you're at the end of it. And congratulations, you've reached the end. There's always something extra that we can do. So we are usually stopping our day mid project. Or wish a bunch of stuff still sitting on not to do list. So how do we get to a point where we end the day and we stick to that? We don't creep back in to read those emails. When people asked me about this. I always Jace that they build themselves some kind of ritual. I know sometimes rituals can sound like religious and I don't want it to go there. I want you to think of rituals as something that we do before, during, or after something that we do like repetitively, right? It's not a once a once-off thing. We've used ritual since the Dawn of time. Think about rituals around grief. Think about rituals like the haka before going into battle. Think about power posing before you go on to stage two. Increase your confidence. We often turn to rituals when we feel a little out of control. And think about, you know, people saying I'll cross my fingers for you when, when you've got something big on, right. That feels good to you, but it doesn't necessarily like actually impact the outcome. Right. We tell people to shackle for loss. Like shake it off. We knock on wood when we say something, but we don't want to jinx it. And our logical brains, we know that there's no correlation between us doing that and the outcome yet. They still make us feel better. They make us feel more in control. One of the places that we see this behavior most often is in sports. And we know that sports psychology has demonstrated the benefits. Of those pre performance, routines and rituals. One of the best explanations for us. That I have heard is something that Ruffin Adele said, right? He is renowned for how many rituals he has before a game. But also like, even if you watch him play your, see the rituals come up, like how many times he bounces the ball before he serves, et cetera. And he. Explained his rituals. And I'm going to quote Kat as ordering my surroundings to match the order I seek. In my head. So in the same way we can use rituals in our day. To order our surroundings to match the order that we're seeking. We can use them to signify the start and end of work do you help us to control this modern day? Need to always be on to check that email, to answer that DM. Now before you go set up. Uh, firewalk in your garden to symbolize the end of the day. It's really important to remember that rituals can be small and simple as well. You can start with wine and you can stack more as needed. But they can be really simple. if you're someone who struggles to get started on the Workday. And morning routine. You do not need to start as at 5:00 AM. Right. And morning routines are something that happens in the morning can become a habit. And you do a set of actions that end with you being at your desk. It could be that you do things in a specific order you could use. Mel Robbins is 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and sit down at my desk. For me when I was at corporate and had to be at my desk at a really specific time, I had a routine that didn't require me to think. In the morning, my alarm would go off. I would get out of bed. I would get into the gym clothes that were sitting next to the bed. I would grab my lunch out the fridge. I would put it in my bag, which was at the door. And I would go straight to the gym. And from the gym to work, et cetera. Now because I don't need to be at work at a specific time. I actually use a hack. That's more for my ADHD than anything else, but I learned to show my brain. That it can get a dopamine hit from work. So the first thing I do every morning, and this is not for everyone. Is sit down at my desk and do one thing. And the one thing is something that I planned. The night before it's written on a post-it. So I don't need to think. And I do this before. I even have my first cup of tea, because for me that first cup of tea really symbolizes the beginning of the day. So I wake up and I want that cup of tea. The way many of you will think about coffee for me, it's a cup of tea. First thing in the morning. So I know that I need to sit down and do this thing. And then I can have my cup of tea. So that gets me to my desk. Then doing the task that's written on my post-it. So I don't have to think tells my brain that Netflix is not the only way for me to win this day. For some people making their bed in the morning shows them that they all the kind of person they aspire to be and helps them to show up in that way for the rest of the day. Now for me. If I stopped to make my bed, I would get sidetracked by something else in my bedroom. The reason I shared this with you is I want you to understand that whatever you use. Has to work for you not to because some hustle bro, or Becky told you that these are the only seven steps to get results. Now for most entrepreneurs that I speak to closing out the day and leaving work is the bigger challenge. So, if we were having a conversation about how to set this ritual up for you, I would ask you two questions. First of all. What do you think of when you think of home? What's the vibe. Is it a sanctuary and super relaxing. Is it. Cozy. Is it filled with kids in super playful. Once you have that feeling, that vibe of what home is. What activity matches that feeling for you? If it's relaxing, it could be lighting your favorite candle in the same spot, away from your desk after you close the laptop. So you get you to immediately move away from your desk. If it's cozy, it could be changing out of your work clothes, into comfier clothes. Or your PJ's essentially packing away the professional. You. If it's playful, you could stretch your body. When you get up from your chair to move yourself into parent mode, ready to play with your kids. If you work in a separate room. So if you have an office at home, there's a separate room. You can think about tapping the doorframe as you pass. Signaling to yourself that you are now home. You often see this with football players in the opposite direction. When they run out of the locker room and they tap the, the sign or whatever. The luck essentially, but really it's about them changing from being in their relaxed state, to being in their competitive state, as they run onto the field. It could also be something like a two minute breathing exercise. Or 32nd Dawn's party. Like Meredith and Christina and Grey's anatomy. The key here is that you won't know what it is until you try some things. The trick is to find something that feels really good. So you want to do it. And then to move away from work physically. So change your location and mentally, so change your state. This is going to help you. I draw a line under the day, even when that to-do list is looming over you. It's going to allow you to have that separation, that going to the office and doing your job. I used to give you. And that's going to allow you to really think about what you want your day to look like knowing that you can enforce that beginning and end.

When you have a never-ending to-do list, it’s easy to have a never-ending workday too

In This Episode

  • How work and life boundaries blur for entrepreneurs
  • How rituals can help
  • Building your own rituals to contain work


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The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this podcast episode and article are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article or episode. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Diane Mayor disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.