PPI #135: Design your Day for BalanceMay 10, 2021
Design your Day for Balance// How to stop being overwhelmed by everything. Watch this video to discover habits for a better work life balance, as well as simple habits for a happy life, and strategies to change your life. We’ll discuss healthy work life balance importance, how to design your life for balance, how to find happiness in work and life, while also sharing the everyday habits for successful people. Stop the “feeling burned out what to do” thinking and learn methods to increase your productivity, tactics and tips for work life balance, and how to be happy in life.
Prioritize Health – If you are not healthy you cannot go to work, you cannot go and have fun. If you are not healthy you have no life. Health is an absolute priority.
Wealth – Work sustains us. It provides our income which allows us to accomplish so many other goals in life. It is also a deep source of fulfilment. We are able to set goals and achieve.
Nurture Relationships – If you had 5 more minutes to live what would you want to do? Spend time with somebody that is important to you, that you love. Relationships are critical, nobody wants to end up alone.
80/20 – It’s the 20% of things that you focus on that will create 80% of the life improvement that you seek. Your health, wealth, and relationships. If you focus on maximising your balance and potential in those area, that will lead to a more fulfilling life.
Create a Health Identity – Set an alarm to go off daily before you work out and label it with what represents you in this field at your best. It will inspire you to show up and work hard, even when you don’t feel like it.
Create a Work Identity– Set a second alarm to go off daily before you sit down to work with an identity that inspires you to operate at your best.
Create a Relationship Identity – Set the last alarm for just before family time, or time spent with loved ones. Label it with an identity that represents you as your best when it comes to your relationships. Ask yourself how would this person act when spending quality time with the ones they love?
Score Yourself – Give yourself a daily W for win or an L for Learn. Simply ask yourself, ‘Did I show up as my best self today within the Health, Wealth and Relationships fronts?’
Grab a copy of my Amazon Best Selling Book The 3 Alarms
Work-life balance is simple. Not easy, but simple. Let me explain. We can all become overwhelmed by work, family, friends, hobbies, things that we need to do. But what if I told you that I have a solution that will change your life and make work-life balance sustainable. Sure, you can continue to struggle with a lack of sleep, a growing to-do list, and nearly a thousand things to do, or you can hear me out and by the end of this message, have a simple, actionable framework to help you achieve balance in your life.
Hi, my name is Eric Partaker and I've been recognized as a CEO of the Year and I'm also the author of two best-selling books, including The Three Alarms. I know your pain. I've been overwhelmed and burned out. I've been successful, but it's always come at a price. And some of that just relates to the simple fact that I'm a recovering workaholic. So it's like I prioritize work over absolutely everything else. When I started my career, I started as a consultant with McKinsey & Company and I was working 100 plus hour work weeks sometimes on various projects and constantly flying around to different cities and interacting with different clients. And it was just work, work, work, work, work nonstop all the time.
And then when I started my own business, I built up a chain of restaurants, and that was the same thing. I was constantly working, trying to look after absolutely everything, and not prioritizing my health, not prioritizing my relationships. And eventually, that all caught up with me. But I did figure it out in the end and I'm going to take you through that today. And work-life balance is attainable. You can absolutely improve the balance that you feel with what you're doing professionally and what you want to be doing personally. You just have to respect a handful of fundamentals that I'm going to take you through right now.
So first off, we need to define what does balance actually mean. What are we talking about? Like what are the things that we're trying to balance? So we have our work, and there's two other things that we need to get in order, in order to feel balanced and fulfilled. And those two other things are our health and our relationships. And the reason why I say these two other things, just think about it for a second. Work is obviously, well, quite often, a massive priority. It's our source of income. It's our source of professional development and fulfillment. But without our health, we're nothing. If you're not healthy, well, you can't go to work. If you're not healthy, you can't have fun. If you're not healthy, you have no life, essentially. So our health is of absolute priority.
The other reason that we need to put relationships into the picture as well is because our relationships are ultimately what's most important to us. I mean, think about it this way. If everything was game over for you and if it was going to come to an end and you only had five more minutes to live, what would you want to do with those five minutes? Would you be thinking, "Okay, five more minutes. Great. Can you just put me on the treadmill? I want to do a little bit more bench presses," something ridiculous like that. Or would you say, "Five more minutes? Great. I can continue to clear out my inbox for those five more minutes, or continue working on a project, or a little bit more research." You wouldn't say any of that. None of that at all. If you had five more minutes, think about it. What would you want to use those five more minutes for? And it's probably to spend time with somebody that's important to you, that you love, to say some parting words to somebody. That's where you would put those five minutes. You'd put it in your relationships.
So the three pillars to living a balanced life is our health, our work, and our relationships. Why? Once again, because without our health, we have nothing. If you're going to die, there's nothing that you can do. Or if you're completely compromised health-wise such that you can't function to your fullest ability, then that's not going to be very fulfilling either. So our health is our foundation. We absolutely need to have our health in place.
And when I say health, what do I mean? I mean our physical health, our mental health, our emotional health, our spiritual, if you're a spiritual person, your spiritual health. Or maybe if you're not spiritual, just your mental clarity, for example. All of those things are absolutely critical. We must have balance and attention towards those things within the domain of health. Our work is important because it sustains us. It keeps us alive. It provides our income with which we can provide so many other things within our lives. But it's also a deep source of fulfillment. We're able to set goals and achieve things and work towards them.
And then last but not least, as I just said, with relationships, relationships are just critical. It's what life is all about at the end of the day. Nobody wants to live a life alone, nobody wants to end their life alone. We want critical relationships around us. We want to invest in those relationships. And those can be our significant other. It can be our children. It can be our friends. But relationships is where it's at. So those are the three domains to a balanced life. Have your health in order, have your work in order, and have your relationships where you want them to be. Health, wealth, and relationships. And sometimes when I say work, really what I'm thinking of is wealth, because wealth includes both what we do to make our money, make our financial success, and also what do we do with that financial success as a result. Like where do we invest? Where do we put that money? It could be into your home. It could be into your children's education, in your own self-development and education.
But those are the three pillars. Our health, our wealth, and our relationships. If you focus on just these three things, you will have a more balanced and fulfilling life. Yes, there are so many other things that you can focus on. Of course we could be focusing on our hobbies and a million different other categories or roles or responsibilities. But this is the 80/20 to living a balanced life. What do I mean by that? It's the 20% of things that you could focus on that will create 80% of the life improvement that you seek. Your health, your wealth, and your relationships. If you just focus on maximizing your balance and potential in those three areas, that will lead to a more fulfilling life.
And then that begs the question, well, how do we do that? How do we create more sustainability, more balance within each of these three areas? And I want to take you through a simple little technique that I developed that relates to the book that I wrote called The Three Alarms. So The Three Alarms book I wrote recently. And it talks about how do we create balance across these three critical domains of our health, wealth, and relationships by using three simple phone alarms. Let me explain.
So years ago, I programmed three alarms into my phone. And at 6:30 AM, the first alarm goes off and it says world fitness champion. Now, I'm not a world fitness champion. I'm not like this like super competitive athlete or something. As a matter of fact, when I was growing up, I remember I worked so hard to make the basketball team and I got on the team and then that was it. I didn't play a game. I literally didn't score any points like at all for two seasons. Never scored once. But that wasn't the point. I just wanted to get on that team. I wanted to feel that satisfaction of I was good enough to be there.
And my point is, is that when I have this identity of being a world fitness champion even though I'm not, it doesn't matter. Because that alarm, when it goes off at 6:30 AM and it says world fitness champion, I've programmed that into my phone, when I see that go off every single day, it prompts me to show up at my best. That's the version of me that shows up and goes to the gym in the morning. It's not me. It's this world fitness champion version of me. And why is that so important? Well, I'll tell you why. Because there's times when I don't feel like going to the gym. There's times when I don't feel like exercising. But because I've programmed this intentionality using my phone to remind me of what best looks like for me, world fitness champion, that's what inspires me, then it inspires a different form of action. It inspires me to show up, even if I don't feel like showing up.
Why? Because a world fitness champion will show up whether they feel like it or not. So me as myself, Eric Partaker as myself, will I always show up even if I don't feel like it? To be honest, probably not. But if I have this world fitness champion mentality, and that's the version of me that I'm cueing at the right time of day, will I show up differently? Yes. Because I assume that identity. And that's what this is all about. It's about picking an identity in each of these three domains, within our health, within our wealth, within our relationships, that represents us at our best, a phrase that means something to you. It could be a person. It could be the name of another human being that you aspire to be like. Or it could just be a phrase, as I've just demonstrated with world fitness champion, that represents you at your best.
But here's the most important thing. It needs to be something that actually resonates and means something to you. So if world fitness champion doesn't mean anything to you, and you're like, "Ah, that's not me," well, then don't use that. But pick something that means something to you on the health domain. Pick a time that would most benefit from being powered by that best self-identity, and set an alarm and program that into your phone so that every single day you're reminded at that same time of day that, hey, it's not you anymore that needs to go into this next segment of the day. It's you at your best within that domain. So 6:30 AM, world fitness champion goes off.
My next alarm at 9:00 AM goes off and it says world's best CEO. Now, am I the world's best CEO? Probably not. But does that inspire me to operate at my best, to up my game? A hundred percent. When I see that go off at 9:00 AM every day, I think to myself, "Well, how would the world's best CEO approach this day right now? How do I need to be? How do I need to act? How do I need to behave? And how do I need to be interacting with people?"
I look through my day after I see that identity reminder, I look through my day and I think to myself, "Okay, if I was the world's best CEO, how will I interact with these different people in these different meetings? How will I show up? What will I say? What will I do? What won't I do?" And all of this helps, once again, because it's tied back to being super intentional. It's tied back to me choosing what does best look like within that domain, and then cueing it at the right time of day, the time of day that would most benefit, once again, from being powered by that best self-identity.
And then the last alarm goes off for me at 6:30 PM. And it says world's best husband and father. Now, I've never gotten a trophy that says world's best husband and father, but I don't need one. I just need that intentionality. Because when that alarm goes off at 6:30 PM and says world's best husband and father, it prompts the question, how would the world's best husband and father walk through that door right now? Because prior to that, prior to me setting this alarm, prior to me defining what does best look like within this domain and cueing it at the right time of day, when I would get home, I might not feel like interacting with my family as I should. They might ask for help or want to play. And I might want to put that off.
But that's not how the world's best husband and father would respond to those requests or situations, is it? And by me defining what best looks like, again, cueing it at the right time of day, right before I'm going to interact with my family or transition from work into home, it just very powerfully reminds me of, well, if I were to be that person, if I was the world's best husband and father, how would I change my behavior right now? How will I show up? How will I react? How will I be different such that if you're observing me from the outside, you'd say, "Wow, that guy's a pretty good husband and father."
And I want to share a story with you. This is from one of my readers, one of my subscribers, who wrote in after he read the book, The Three Alarms, and he applied it to his own life. And I just want to share with you what he did in each of these three areas. Hopefully it will inspire you. So he picked a health identity and he's actually set it for the same time that I do every day, 6:30 AM. But his health identity was 70-year-old me. That was his identity. And the reason he chose that, he said, and his name is Patrick, so the reason he chose that is because he said if every day he thought of his 70-year-old self, his future 70-year-old self visiting him and showing him the state of how he was, that that would prompt him to not even consider any of the bad health decisions that he knew he was making day in and day out. If he could see his 70-year-old self daily and was reminded of that, that he would be making better decisions that would support that future version of him.
The effect of this was that he said that suddenly after two years of having never been to the gym, when every day he saw 70-year-old me coming up on his phone at 6:30 AM, he thought, "Okay, well, if I'm going to be maximizing my health as a 70-year-old, what do I need to do right now? I need to go to the gym." And so he started to go to the gym after having never been for two straight years. Started to go to the gym every single day. He ended up losing 25 pounds in just three months because of this simple identity-driven alarm that he chose at the right time of the day to remind him of what his best looked like on the health domain for him.
And it also had another knockoff effect. He said that on his way to work, he used to grab like a cinnamon muffin and maybe a few other like little snacks here and there and a coffee. And he started to cut all of that out because he thought that consuming that on a daily basis, would it be consistent with him being his best as a 70-year-old in the future? So it had a huge transformative effect for him on the health front.
And then Patrick also shared that he set another alarm at 8:45 AM, because that's when he sat down at his desk. And he named that world's best leader, because he wanted to remind himself, once again, of, if he was at his best, what does that look like for him? World's best leader was his phrase. And he wanted to remind himself of, "Okay, well, how would that version of me, once again, show up in the course of the day? What will that person do? How will that person be thinking about leading others and showing up for others and interacting with others?
And it also helped him really zero in on a particular part of his company. He's a CEO of a manufacturing company where safety is super important. So it also prompted him to think, "Hey, if I was the world's best leader, we need to get these safety numbers better. What I mean by that is that they had numbers around accident rates or occurrences within the factories, and he wanted to get those way down. He doesn't want to, as you can imagine, a company or a work environment where people are getting hurt or having accidents. And so it prompted him to really show up powerfully and strongly for his leadership team and for his company and say, "We need to get these numbers down for these reasons. And here's what we're going to do to effect that change." And the result of that, the result of him reminding himself on a daily basis that he is the world's best leader, at the right time of day, the safety rate, or the number of accidents in the company, dropped by 75% during that same period of time, over a three month period.
Last but not least, Patrick set an alarm for 6:30 PM. Same time that I had chose. And he used actually the same phrase that I had. World's best husband and father. You don't need to be unique with these phrases. They just need to mean something to you. You can also use people as well, right? So during your work hours, you could switch into Elon Musk. During your health hours, you could become whatever your favorite sporting hero is. But back to Patrick, 6:30 PM, world's best husband and father. And he admitted to me that that was still a work in progress. So sometimes the alarm would go off and he'd still be at work. But then, because that went off, he thought to himself, "Wait, hang on a second. Is this me at work right now? Is this me being world's best husband and father?" Probably not.
And sometimes the alarm would go off on his way home and it would prompt him to think, "Oh yes. Okay. How is the world's best husband and father going to walk through the door right now?" Regardless of like when the reminder was happening. What ended up happening is that when Patrick walked through the door, it just changed the way he showed up. He walked through that door as like the world's best husband and father. Smile on his face, ready to listen, ready to engage, super present, super helpful. And all of this because he had that intentionality. He had the intentionality. What does best look like for me in this domain? And he showed up in that way.
So let's bring this to a close here. So what am I saying to do to create balance in your life, to achieve work-life balance, to make yourself feel more fulfilled? There's three domains that we need to think about. Our health, our wealth, and our relationships. That's the 80/20 to life improvement. The 20% of things you could look at to improve to create 80% of the benefits that you seek. Step number two is define what does best look like in each of those three domains. What does you at your best look like on the health front? What does you at your best look like on the wealth/work front? What does you at your best look like on the relationship front? And then create alarms, cue that best self-identity at the right time of day so you can bring more intentionality into that segment of your day so that you can show up more strongly, show up more confidently.
And I'll give you one last little tip that you can do. At the end of your day, you can score yourself. You can give yourself a W for a win, or an L for a learn. And how do you get the W or the L? Simply by asking yourself, "Did I show up as my best, consistent with those identities, in the health, wealth and relationship fronts?" And if you did, and if you did the best that you thought you could do, not in an exhausting way, but just you in the context of your day doing the best that you're capable of, you give yourself a W. If you didn't do your best, give yourself an L for learn.
And here are the simple rules. Never more than two Ls in a row, and never more than six Ls in a month, such that you have an 80% success rate with you showing up at your best on the health, wealth, and relationship fronts, so that you can create the work-life balance that you so desperately want, and that will so absolutely create a more fulfilling life for you. And I'd love to hear from you. So don't forget to leave a comment and a rating as well. And if you'd like to get a copy of my new book, The 3 Alarms, please head over to my website at ericpartaker.com, that's E-R-I-C, ericpartaker.com, where you can pick up a free digital copy of my new best-selling book, The 3 Alarms.