Most of us want to live a life that’s balanced between work and home. Yet, the reality is we never live a balanced life. We’re always bringing work home, and we’re always bringing family and our personal lives to work. The balance is knowing when to turn it off and being present during EVERY interaction, work or home.
Accountability is a result of creating quality habits that generate the results we desire. Here are two examples, I call my AM and PM bookends. These are habits I’ve developed at the beginning and end of each day.
The Night Before
Your best day starts the night before. I have a digital sunset one hour before bed, where I turn off all the blue light and inputs to ready myself for a good night’s sleep. When we manage our energy, we can do better as our best selves. That’s accountability based on desired results. Consistently doing the mundane is what gets you what you want. It’s not the fireworks and parades that everyone thinks. That’s a myth.
The Morning Routine
In the morning, I focus on three areas of what I want to be in the world. I call these the big three, times two exercise, something I learned from my Optimizer Coach, Brian Johnson. The areas I focus on are energy, work and love. There are many others we can focus on, but I find these three cover almost everything we do.
Energy is about eating, body movement and sleep. Work is evident, and love is our connections with the world, friends, family and significant others.
So, we have time management. Then energy management, which drives our time. What’s more, there’s a higher management component that controls our energy and time—called virtue management.
The Big Three, Times Two Exercise
Here’s how the big three, times two exercise works. First, I determine my identity in my energy, work and love. Our identity is crucial because it’ll motivate us to accomplish tasks that require more discipline—holding us more accountable. For instance, my identity in energy is I’m active and radiantly healthy. In work, I’m a world-class coach. In love, I’m a great man.
Think of these statements as how you want to be viewed by others, not boasting. Next is where you convert your three areas into virtues. Think of virtues as moral excellence. Aristotle and the Greeks were masters at defining virtues. Here are my virtues :
• Energy: I’m committed and take ownership
• Work: I’m wise, authentic and courageous
• Love: I’m kind, generous, patient and encouraging
Next, pick one thing you’ll do within each virtue every day. These three actions must happen before I do anything else—usually before any digital inputs or interruptions from others. My big three times two today was:
• Work—update all client session presentations
• Love—send an encouraging note to each of our kids
In closing, when we know ourselves and understand how we want to appear, we become more accountable to ourselves and others. We live a more balanced life because we’re clear on who we are. And, we understand the gift of presence, whether we’re at work or home.