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Flipping Work Life Balance

work-life-flip.jpgBigg Success is life on your own terms. There are five elements of bigg success – money, time, growth, work and play. Today we want to focus on play, along with a heavy dose of time and work.

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Work – life (im)balance

We were talking about how we schedule ourselves. Work then play. If you’re like us, work – life balance means work and work and work and work. Life gets the remains.

We’ve told you before that this is one of the things we struggle with the most. We’re entrepreneurs; we love our work. Most of the time it feels like play. But it’s still important to live a full life.

We got to thinking – if bigg success is life on our own terms, maybe it’s counter-productive to schedule ourselves the way we do. Perhaps we could have a higher quality of life by doing things differently.

We realize that this won’t apply to everybody. However, it’s worth everyone’s time to think about what we’re about to say. We feel that it works particularly well for business owners and others who have more control of their time.

Flip work – life balance to life – work balance

So here’s our bigg idea …

Financial planners will tell you that, when it comes to managing your finances, you should “pay yourself first.” Our thought is that, when it comes to managing your work – life balance, you should “play yourself first!”

Instead of work – life balance, let’s make it life – work balance. Flip it 180 degrees.

Put life first. We call it flippin’ life. Go ahead … say it with some attitude. It’s fun!

Think about how you schedule your time. If you’re like us, we always put work appointments and tasks on our calendars. But we don’t always schedule our personal time.

So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to stop scheduling all of our work first and then fitting our personal lives around it. We’re going to schedule our play time first and then work around that! We’re flippin’ life!

We encourage you to join us. Let’s schedule our days, weeks and months so we put the right first things first.

Let’s flip it!

Let’s place health before wealth. Let’s focus on getting healthier. Making sure we eat properly. There are days when we get so caught up in our work that we forget to eat. It’s dinner time and we still haven’t had breakfast! No more!

We’ll also make sure we get that exercise we need. We’ll get plenty of sleep. We’ll nourish our minds and souls as well.

Flip it.

Let’s position people before profit. Let’s make relationship-building a priority. We’ll plan time with our family and friends. We’ll schedule time to meet new people. Sure this may help us at work as well, but that’s not our goal. We’re focused on the people, not the payoff.

Flip it.

Let’s put experiences before earnings. We want to have experiences, perhaps in synergy (the bigg idea behind bigg success) with improving our health and building relationships, which allow us to live a full life. Through these experiences, we’ll discover new things about ourselves and our world.

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Is this just a pipe dream?

We can hear you now. You think we’re flippin’ crazy!

We say, “Flippin’ no!”

Honestly, we don’t know if this will work. However, we’re going to give it our best shot because we have a suspicion …

By scheduling our play first, we’ll be more focused at work because we’ll have to be!

We’ll have to get just as much done, but we’ll have less time to do it. However, we think we’ll be even more productive. Why, you ask?

We think we will play more because we scheduled it first.

No flippin’ duh, you say. Okay, we understand your skepticisim, but here’s where it starts to get good …

We think, because we play more, we will have even more energy for our work when we work.

We also will know more people and have better relationships with the people we know. We’ll be more effective at finding the right people to work with when it’s in everybody’s best interest.

And because we will have more experiences to draw upon, we will find new solutions to old problems.

In short, it’s synergy! There’s that word again! The bigg idea behind bigg success!

If you want to get on board with us, here’s what we suggest …

Get out your Blackberry, your Planner or whatever you use for scheduling. Start making appointments for all those personal things you want to do. Then fit work into the remaining time instead of the other way around. You’re flippin’ life!

Putting life first. What a flippin’ concept! That’s definitely life on your own terms. That’s bigg success!

What do you think of this idea? Have you ever considered putting play first?

Share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 888.455.BIGG (2444) or e-mailing us at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks so flippin’ much for reading our flippin’ post today! There’s it out of our flippin’ (oops) system now.

If you’re a business owner, there’s one cost-cutting measure that really costs you. Please join us next time when we discuss it. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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What’s On Your Plate?

By Bigg Success Staff
08-06-08

Work – Life Balance

nutritionFor us non-athletes, when we think of conditioning, we often don’t think of physical conditioning. However, just like athletes must also prepare mentally, we must put caring for our bodies on our plate. So today, we’ll share three great articles with a different twist on nourishment, exercise and rest.

The 3 Parts of a Sustainable Diet

Leo Babauta of Zen Habits always puts out great content. Recently, he wrote about the three parts of a good diet – (1) Follow a plan (2) that’s chockfull of super-healthy foods (3) that you love. We loved the third one!

He points out that having a meal plan for which you shop and cook is the beginning. It doesn’t have to be all healthy foods, but they should be the bulk of your diet. If you don’t love the food you’re eating, you’ll never stick with it.

Leo builds upon this simple formula to explain in detail how he follows it. It’s a great post on eating right … today, tomorrow, for life! 

Work Up the Motivation to Work Out

Many of us make resolutions at the beginning of every year to get fit. Why wait? Frederic Premji has a great post over at I Need Motivation on finding the motivation to work out. Here’s our slightly paraphrased version of his six tips:

  • Schedule it as a high priority activity
  • Get a buddy
  • Short-term … think attractive
  • Long-term … think health
  • Have a goal
  • Just get started

Like any other area of our lives, no one can motivate us to do anything. We must do it ourselves. So motivate yourself to check out Frederic’s article so you get motivated to work out!

A Little Shut-Eye Opens Your Mind

Naps have been much maligned as an inhibitor of a good night’s sleep. However, recent studies have shown that taking a nap in the middle of the day is good for you. You’ll get more done and be more mentally alert after a nap. 

Now The Boston Globe has published a fantastic resource on napping. Learn the best time to take a nap. Understand how long you should nap. Discover all of the elements that make your naps more productive. 

Hear today’s lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

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Outsource Your Household Chores to Balance Your Life

By Bigg Success Staff
04-14-08

Work – Life Balance

Many of us work hard all week only to work hard on the weekend. We work our jobs and then we have a long list of chores to do at home.

Take a page from the corporate playbook – outsource!

More and more people are realizing that outsourcing routine chores increases their quality of life.

So hire a cleaning company to clean your house.

Find someone to mow your yard.

Stop trying to be Joe or Jane Handyperson. Contract it out.

Use a personal errand service.

There are many businesses that have cropped up that will help you handle any number of tasks on your to-do list.

Of course, you may enjoy some of these things. Like mowing the yard. Maybe you actually find it relaxing. So keep doing the things you love, but find things that you don’t enjoy and delegate them to other people or companies.

Your time is too precious to waste!

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Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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Routinely Get a Good Night’s Sleep

By Bigg Success Staff
04-01-08

Work – Life Balance

sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for good performance during the day. Ironically, though, work may be the biggest culprit in keeping us from getting the rest we need.

According to a recent report by the Sleep Foundation, almost one-fourth of us are working on job-related tasks right before going to bed at least a few nights a week. Nearly two-thirds of us accept that we’re going to feel sleepy at times during the day.

We realize that something has to give so we can get everything done. So we sacrifice sleep. That means it’s even more important to get to sleep when we’re ready to go to sleep.  

One of the secrets to do that is to establish a going-to-bed routine. This provides a clear separation of sleep-time from your day-time activities. It gives you time to unwind and clear your mind from things that stimulate you so you don’t fall asleep right away.

Here are eight things that you could do to wind down. Pick the ones that work for you and make them a part of your going-to-bed ritual.

#1 – Schedule a start time.
It’s important to establish a regular time to go to bed. You schedule everything else. Schedule when you start your bedtime routine!

You have a feel for your biological clock as well as what time you need to wake up. So determine when you should start getting ready to sleep so you can get the sleep you need!

It may take a little while for your body to get used to your schedule, but it will follow if you lead! Of course, there may be times when your demands require you to deviate, but try to stick to your schedule as much as possible.

#2 – Dim the lights.
To your body, bright lights mean daytime. So signal your brain that it’s time to go to bed by dimming the lights! Candle anyone?

#3 – Drink warm milk or decaffeinated tea.
Some people find that a cup of warm milk or decaffeinated tea helps them relax. If that’s the case for you, include this is your going-to-bed ritual.

#4 – Take a hot bath.
Many people enjoy a nice, relaxing hot bath. If you do, by all means include it in your night-time routine. Research shows that warming the body so it then cools down enables sleep.

#5 – Give yourself a massage.
A massage can really help relax you. So lightly massage areas of your body that you can easily reach. Don’t strain! Feel the calming effect as you lightly rub the various areas of your body.

#6 – Meditate.
Find a position that’s comfortable for you. Breathe in and out. Let your body relax. Empty your mind of everything. Give yourself a few minutes of time to just let go of all the stress.

#7 – Read.
Read something that takes you away from all your daily struggles and strife. It may be a book or a magazine article. Short stories work great because you can read from beginning to end in a few minutes.

#8 – Listen to soothing sounds.
For some people, this may mean music. For others, it may include the sound of waves, rain, or something else relaxing. Experience what you’re hearing. Close your eyes and picture yourself in that place.

What helps put you to sleep?

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Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.

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Retire to Work: Live Where You Want Now but Keep Working

By Bigg Success Staff
03-24-08 

Work – Life Balance

ocean_view_office 

What you do is important to your happiness. Where you do it also plays a significant role. You can’t ignore your personal characteristics if you want to live a rich life.

Thanks to technology, a growing number of people are finding ways to work remotely. They’re designing their lives so that they can completely fulfill their work obligations, but also enjoy their life more now.

Where do you want to live when you retire? If it’s not where you’re at, why not find a way to live there sooner, rather than later?

If that sounds good to you, here are the pieces you need to put in place to get started.

Financially sound
At first, you may have two mortgage payments. At the very least, you’ll have additional travel costs because you’ll still have to spend some time in your regular office. Business owners have to be sure their business is on solid financial ground before pursuing this lifestyle. It’s much harder to a manage crisis from a distance.

Operationally sound
Is the infrastructure in place so you could work remotely? If not, what will it take to get it there? Look at what your job requires from you. Determine how you can diminish the need for you to be there physically. Simulate how it would affect things on your end if you couldn’t resolve an issue in person.

People needs
If you own your own business, you need to make sure you have key managers in place. You’ll also need to determine how much face time you need with other employees and clients.

Can this time be grouped into bundles when you’re at the office? Could technology be used to a greater degree to get the same result without requiring your physical presence?

Test the waters
Once you think you’re ready, test your theory – get away for longer than you ever have before. Find out what obstacles will prevent you from being away even longer. Go back and fix them. Then repeat this process!

You may find that you’re actually more productive working remotely. The distractions at work are greater than the distractions in your remote office! You’ll also be happier because you’re living the life you designed. You’ve retired to work!

Find out when we post new articles. Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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Work – Life Balance Lessons From Stretch Armstrong

By Bigg Success Staff
02-20-08

Work – Life Balance

stretch_armstrong 

The year was 1976. A small group of experts, with the toymaker Kenner, met to discuss new ideas for toys. Time was ticking by. Few good ideas had been suggested.

Then, a soft-spoken gentleman stepped up with an idea for a new super hero.

Stretch Armstrong was born!

Children could stretch, for lack of a better word, his limbs up to four times the width of his body.

Stretch was a huge hit with kids who tested him daily to see just how far he could stretch.

In fact, Stretch is a hit again. Only now it’s collectors who seek this flexible super hero.

Why are collectors so interested in Stretch Armstrong?

Because so few dolls survived!

You see, with all the stretching, Stretch’s limbs started to harden and crack. When that happened, the “secret sauce” that allowed him to stretch so far leaked out. Stretch Armstrong couldn’t stretch anymore.

We can learn a lesson from Stretch Armstrong:

If you stretch yourself too far, too often, you may crack.

We all want to live a full life. We want a rewarding career and a robust personal life. In our quest for those goals, we spread ourselves very thin. We have to be careful, though, not to stretch ourselves too far, too often. Here are 6 tips to do just that:

  • Accept that you can’t have it all.
    It all begins with being honest – you can’t have it all. You’re only human. You only have 24 hours in a day. There is only so much you can do. You should seek to achieve balance for your own sake as well as those who depend on you. But you shouldn’t try to be all things to all people.
  • Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize.
    Having accepted that you can’t have it all, now you can decide what’s most important to you. Look at everything you do – your work, your family commitments, your personal activities – and think about your vision of your dream life.

    Take a zero-base approach to each activity – assume that you don’t need to do it. Now ask yourself what impact it would make if you didn’t do it. This will help you start to eliminate clutter in your schedule.

  • Schedule everything.
    Speaking of schedules, make it a habit to schedule everything. Plan what you need to do and how long it will take. Allow yourself some cushion – a lot of us think we’re a super hero. You’re only human. You can’t work at break-neck speed all the time.

    By scheduling everything, you’ll allow enough time for those things that are most important to you. That will include things you do just for fun. Most of us schedule everything but down time. So what happens – no down time!

  • Learn to say “no”.
    This is one of the most important tools in your work – life balance tool kit. You’ve gone to all the trouble to prioritize what’s most important to you. Don’t put yourself back in the same position by taking on new activities that don’t fit your vision of your dream life.

    Kindly consider any opportunities that come your way and then politely decline anything that doesn’t fit. Just say “no”!

  • Communicate what you CAN do, not what you CAN’T.
    Your life touches a lot of other people. They may be affected by your efforts to get things under control. Make sure you help them understand the reasons behind what you’re doing.

    But here’s a mistake people often make. Don’t concentrate on what you can’t do any longer. Focus on what you can and will do. Accentuate the positive!

  • Don’t worry about getting it perfect.
    A lot of people want to get it perfect. They carry this attitude into everything they do. While it is admirable, it is also a recipe for always being stretched too thin.

    Focus on getting it perfectly satisfactory. Get it satisfactory … then work on it just a little more. Now you can be perfectly satisfied with it. It may not be perfect, but it’s close enough. Any more effort would yield minimal improvements.

Stretch Armstrong couldn’t keep stretching – he cracked. Follow these 6 tips and you’ll avoid finding yourself in Stretch’s predicament.

Find out when we post new articles. Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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