The one thing I do to have work/life balance
Work/life balance is non-existent for 99% of founders. When I was a founder, I had to try everything and get it so wrong until starting to piece together what is a great work-life balance today with two young kids, this podcast, full-time angel investing, and running a company all at the same time. And, I still feel like I have energy cycles to give to other projects.
I want to key in on the word balance. To get balanced on a surfboard. You need momentum. To get momentum, you need consistency. To get consistency, you need routines. Routines always come down to boundaries.
Setting boundaries is not easy
It's not all upside. To say, “every morning I’m going to block off two hours of just prep time for the work day” is not easy. To say, “I'm going to have this date night every week on Tuesday nights (which is what we do)” might feel like you're going to shave off some opportunity here or there.
But by having that type of boundary, then it allows you to create other boundaries in life. And those boundaries allow for you to have consistency, momentum, and then balance. If you cannot practice boundaries, then you are a prime candidate for someone that has a very whacked work-life balance.
Biggest piece of advice
The biggest advice I ever got in life professionally or personally, no joke, was when I was about 27.
A sleep doctor told me to wake up every morning at the same time. That set my biological, hormonal clock to release the cortisol at the same time every day to wake me up naturally, to release the melatonin every day at the same time to help me go to sleep naturally.
It all comes from this boundary that is set, that allows for consistency. It took about eight days before it was actually consistent. Then, momentum followed.
No meeting Wednesday or Fridays
Another boundary that I love is no meeting Wednesdays and no meeting Fridays. After I'd sold my company to Airbnb, I was there for two years. I had introduced this to my boss that we were going to do no-meetings-Wednesdays.
It led to the it's my favorite day of the week by far. Now, I go to bed on Tuesday nights and it is better than Friday nights when I was eight years old.
It is so amazing to go to bed on Tuesdays and say, “wow, I'm going to have that whole day to do deep work”. I'm ahead of the eight ball instead of behind the eight ball, because I'm creating that boundary that then allows for this consistency every day.
I plan my deep work for Wednesdays, that boundary of waking up every morning at the same time, and within 30 minutes, I'm in flow and knocking things out. The boundary is that first foothold to climbing a mountain.
Building the boundary setting muscle
You also build the muscle to be able to create those boundaries. You start saying “no” to this email, request, or conversation. You practice the art of under committing and the muscle gets built and it gets easier and easier to create those boundaries. Before you know it, you've got boundaries that lead to routines. Routines that lead to consistency, consistency, being the function of momentum. With momentum, you're balancing on that surfboard.
As the adage goes, you can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf. Learning to surf, learning to balance work and life, comes down to boundaries, boundaries, boundaries.