15 Steps to a Better You

NOVEMBER 25, 2020 | BY UKO

Developing one’s self and finding balance 

Get back on track with 15 steps to a better you: make plans, make money, get into a good routine… etc, just follow these steps and there you’ll have it; a better you. No, well we all know it’s not so simple. We want our lives to be exciting and fulfilling however there isn’t any guide for how to exactly achieve this. We can get caught up in work and even lose track of time, to the point where we wonder where the years go. Juggling study, work and life… the old work-life balance is challenging. At the best of times, work won’t clear your mind, so we need to find this excitement for fulfilment elsewhere… but how!

Balance The Grind is a website entirely dedicated to showcasing healthy work-life balance through stories of people all over the world in different careers and lifestyles. No individual is the same, hence talking anyone through an ideal step-by-step process just won’t work. However by looking at others as examples, we might be able to garner the ideas that we need to coordinate all of the things that make up our work and our lives. 

Balance The Grind’s Daily Routines series explores the daily routines, schedules, habits and rituals of successful world leaders, artists, startup founders, business executives, writers and world class athletes to uncover the key learnings. I took a look at Sydney local entrepreneurs Manda Kelly, Co-founder of Freelancing Gems,  Lauren Crystal, Co-founder of Hassle and Liam McNally, Diversity & Inclusion Partner at GitLab. These people all have such busy days! Back-to-back meetings, small time slots to produce work, guest speaking on webinars and then they’ve got their families, friends and health to sort out! How do they do it? Multitasking, juggling follow-ups… they’ve all had experience stopping and starting routines and practices to adjust and adapt their lives. 

The key is to give yourself the time.

Time to work out what it is that you need to balance work and life. This is because balance is going to be different for everyone and dependent upon commitments, health and family situation. Central aspects of Manda, Laren and Liam’s lives are exercise, work flexibility and breaking work down into smaller pieces. No university assignment work style all-nighters! What a relief! 

Manda, Lauren and Liam all exercise in the mornings at some stage. It may be first thing at 6:00 am, at 8 am… or later in the morning at 11 am. Flexibility is something that these people have across the board which allows for different intersections of work and life. Work flexibility means that you don’t have to wait until 6:00 pm to get to the gym. It also means that you can work globally, Liam’s company is US based and Manda has recently spoken at the UN World Entrepreneurs Day webinar. Flexible work means they can all make their personal appointments which are often scheduled during work hours. Their work patterns are broken up into 1-2 hour slots and regular breaks such as gym, groceries, walks or coffees are integrated around slots. The experts say productivity is then increased and the mind is cleared.

So what does balance mean to Manda, Lauren and Liam? For Manda Kelly, balance means “personal balance in mind, body and spirit! I am pretty high energy so I need my down time and mindfulness.” Lauren Crystal says it’s “ loving your job, whilst at the same time your work environment and respecting the boundaries of your personal life.” For Liam McNally, “it’s very important for me to have that integration in order to be productive. I achieve this by being strict with my flexibility.”  

These may not be your answers but here are the top tips from the experts: 

  • Turn your phone on airplane mode so you don’t get calls during your personal time.
  • Use tools such as Hassle to reduce emails to a minimum.
  • Focus for 1-2 hour intervals of work and take breaks to maximise productivity. 
  • Never compromise your exercise or your health. 
  • Catch up with friends to break up your day for exercise, walks or coffees. 

Balance to maintain both our mental and physical health is essential. If you’re not healthy you can’t do much at all! By burning the candles at both ends you can get run down, exhaust yourself and potentially bring out illnesses. Keep that balance! It’s not as easy as following any step by step guide as we all have different responsibilities and commitments as well as heath levels. So, ensure that you take the time to work out what you need to get your balance right!