Welcome to your Friday Field Notes – a short episode delivered each week designed to help you think critically about what it means to be a man.
My goal is to help you become a better leader in your family, your business, and your community.
If you’re interested in getting involved in more discussions like this and want to take charge of your life, I encourage you to check out our elite mastermind, The Iron Council.
This week, I talk about creating work/life balance.
Transcript, Creating Work/Life Balance
Men, what is going on today?! My name is Ryan Michler and I am the host and founder of Order of Man. If you’re listening to this show, you know by now that we’re a show about all things manly.
We talk about leadership, health, wealth, relationships, self-mastery, self-defense, and every other topic that is going to help you become a better man! Bottom line – we want you to be a better leader. A better leader of yourself, your family, your business, your community, and your life.
Now, if you’re new to the show, this is our Friday Field Notes show which is basically 5-7 minutes of me rambling about a given topic for the week. Specifically, I’m going to be talking about work/life balance today. But, if you haven’t subscribed yet, you need to, because each Tuesday we release another show where we interview the world’s most successful people and help you take those manly lesson back into your own life. We’ve interviewed guys like Navy SEAL, Jocko Willink, Brett McKay with Art of Manliness, Andy Frisella with MFCEO, Jordan Harbinger with The Art of Charm and a ton more.
Now, let’s get into the show because, as I said a second ago, we just don’t have that much time today. I want to talk with you about a re-occurring topic that continues to come up in the emails I receive and on our Facebook Group (BTW, if you are a man and you aren’t a member of our Facebook Group, where have you been? You can request access at www.facebook.com/groups/orderofman.). The topic I want to address is the concept of work/life balance.
I want to talk about what it means, why guys struggle with this so much, and three simple little strategies I’ve used in my own life to help with this.
Now, please understand, I am not the expert on this. My wife will attest to that. But, again, I have learned a couple things that have helped me and I want to impart some of that on you.
Alright, so what is work/life balance? To me, it’s about striking the perfect balance between the amount of time you spend working and the amount of time you spend engaging in other areas of your life – specifically time for yourself and time for your family if that applies. Let me just first start by saying that work/life balance is a myth. It just doesn’t exist.
There are going to be moments in your life when you’re more occupied with work because you’re vying for a promotion or you have a big product launch and there’s going to be times when you’re more focused on your personal life including your family. You might have a vacation planned. You might have a new son or daughter like we do. Those life events have the tendency to change your priorities for a time.
I want you to imagine walking a tight rope hovering over New York City. You’re trying to get from one skyscraper to the next. You’ve got one of those long poles to help you balance and you’re trying not to fall to your death. Are you balanced? Balanced means you’ve got equal weight on one foot as you do the other and pressure applied to the tight rope is exactly even at all times. No, of course not. You’re constantly making tiny correction, right? A shift of the foot here. A transfer of weight there. And, hopefully between all the corrections you make, you’ll get from point A to point B.
Such is life, alright? Balance is a myth. It’s a series of course corrections along the way.
But these course corrections are difficult. And, I know why it’s so difficult, especially for men. I know for me, working is very tangible. And, not only is it tangible, work is what we’re hard-wired to do. Go to work, be productive, and bring home the bacon.
Also, we can measure our progress at work – how many sales we’ve made, the amount of money we made today, where we failed, where we can improve. But, how do you measure being a good dad. How do you measure being a good husband or a good friend? Much harder to do right? And so, what do we do? We revert back to the thing that is easiest to do and manage – work!
So, how do we fix this work/life balance? We know we want to better with our families but we don’t know how. I’m going to offer you, again, a couple suggestions (3 to be exact) that have worked for me.
First, I need you to understand that you should be creating CONGRUENCY in your life. I hear a lot about the different hats we wear: boss, employee, father, husband, coach, teacher, spiritual leader, community volunteer, on and on.
But, what we rarely hear about is the level of congruency between those hats we wear. Are you the same person at home that you are at work? Are you the same person in the community that you are at home? If you’re being truthful, probably not.
This represents a problem because you’re trying to be different things to different people. Not only is it an extremely inefficient way to live your life, it’s also very unsatisfying and unfulfilling.
If you’re doing work you don’t love, why are you doing it? If you’re in a marriage that is falling apart, why aren’t you fixing it? The most frustrating thing a man can experience is living a life that is not in line with the way he views the world and his thoughts about the way it should be lived.
You need to start aligning your work with your passion. You need to build the marriage that coordinates with the work that you’re doing. You need to include your children in your community activities. You need to serve your community the same way you serve your family. This is the congruency I’m talking about and when you do that, you’re going to be so much more effective on those little course corrections you’re making.
The next tactic I want to share with you is communication. This is something men are generally bad at. Are you communicating with your family regarding the expectations they should have of you and the expectations you have of them? Are you communicating with your boss or your co-workers when you’ll be in the office and when you’ll be unavailable?
If not, you need to work on this ASAP! You cannot live life in balance without letting people know what you want, what you’ll do, and what you won’t do. It just can’t happen.
Are you good at saying ‘no’ to the things that aren’t congruent with your vision for life? If not, you better get there quick or you’ll be inundated with unimportant, trivial work.
Communicate with your boss. Communicate with your kids. Communicate with your spouse. Communicate with everyone that needs to know – that has a vested interest in whatever it is you’re doing.
Next, is commitment. Look you’ve started to build a life that is congruent with your beliefs about the world. You’ve communicated your vision and expectations with those that need to know. Now, it’s a matter of sticking to it – of being committed.
If you tell your wife and kids you’re going to be home at 5:00, you better be home at 5:00. If not, you’re lying which is a breakdown in your commitment, a breakdown in your communication, and a breakdown in your congruency.
You need to stick to what you say you’re going to do. If your boss asks you to work this weekend and you’ve already communicated to him that you cannot work weekends, you better learn to get good at saying no. Honor your commitments.
If you tell a friend you’re going to help him move this weekend, you better fulfil that obligation. There should be only one reason you don’t – death (as in your death). If you’re not going to help the guy move, don’t tell him you are.
This is all about being a man of your word. When you commit to the things you said you’d commit to, one of two things is going to happen: First, people will start respecting you more and you’ll build trust and credibility or second, you’ll stop making so many commitments which will free up time to do what is actually important to you.
Alright. It’s congruency, communication, and commitment.
I know this is going to help with that work/life balance and the course corrections you’ll need to make along the way.
If you want to learn how to apply this in your life a bit better, I want to invite you to join The Iron Council. This is a mastermind designed to take your life to the next level. What do you want out of life guys? More money, deeper relationships, a job promotion, better health? Whatever it is me and the rest of the men inside the Iron Council are going to help you earn it for yourself. This month we’re talking all about that second ‘C’, communication.
Join us at www.orderofman.com/ironcouncil
In the meantime, get out there and start creating balance in your life my building a life of congruency, communicating your expectations, and committing to a course of action.
Looking forward to talking with you next week. Until then, take action and become the man you were meant to be!