My first post introduced the concept of the MoBster: the Mobile Balancer who is usually self-employed and bears total responsibility for everything in his or her life. Every day, we’re going to realize that no big institution (private or governmental) is going to provide the levels of “security” we’ve seen the past—job security, health insurance, retirement security, you name it. Some people say this means “you’re on your own.” I prefer to see it as “you’re in charge.”
The danger with this mindset is to let the choices and responsibilities overwhelm you—especially as you try to maintain the overall work-life balance that keeps burnout at bay.
No one has the secret, but I’ll tell you one thing that seems to work for me: “packaging.” What is packaging? It’s the process of dedicating certain chunks of time toward the most vital tasks, and treating them as sacred. For example:
Last year, I realized that I was putting so much time into my marketing business, which demands creativity, that I no longer had time to do the things that actually inspired creativity. So I instituted a policy I called “No Fly Zone Fridays”: The last Friday of every month, I put business on hold and do whatever inspires. I’ve seen movies, visited art museums, read, and gone for walks. Simple, but amazingly effective at recharging the batteries.
About four months ago, I realized that my wife and I were spending a lot of “after the kid goes to bed” time watching TV, when one of the initial things that bonded us was music. Thus, “Music Night” was born. Every Wednesday at 9 p.m., we do what no one under the age of 30 ever does anymore: listen to one album from start to finish. (We take turns picking the album.)
Most recently, I returned from a writing conference and realized that I needed to dedicate some part of each day to non-marketing-related writing. But I also need to keep working out. Rather than choosing one over the other, I’ve committed to dragging my butt out of bed an hour earlier and making room for both. I’m only a week in, so we’ll see how it goes.
There’s no secret formula, but my marketing experience has taught me one thing: If you “package it,” you’re much more likely to do it.
6/17/2010 at 9:21 PM