Tim, our head for growth and marketing, introduced me to Seeking Wisdom, a podcast featuring David Cancel, an experienced entrepreneur and investor. David is a highly successful marketer, entrepreneur, and I am always interested in his perspective. The podcast’s 12th episode focuses on the myth of work-life balance. This episode sparked some internal discussion.
David believes that trying to achieve work-life balance in the traditional sense will only lead you to stress and make you feel like a failure. He doesn’t believe people can just start their day at 8:15 am and finish it at 5:05 pm. Then they can go outside to do other things. He believes it’s more complicated.
David makes some very interesting points. My experience was quite different.
It sounds impossible to find work-life balance.
TeamGantt has been setting boundaries for when we work since day one. It’s a great thing and we encourage everyone at TeamGantt.
My day begins at 8:15 AM and ends at 5:00 PM. Other employees in the company have similar schedules. We need to be able to shut off at the end, and also have a set start time. This has many benefits.
Remote companies are more valuable because you don’t need to commute to separate work. We all know that what we do is rare and that many people fail to try it. It’s not.
This argument may be disputed by some. I would argue that we have greater control over our schedules and lives than we realize. It can be difficult to manage your schedule with children, but it is still possible.
Since the beginning, work-life balance has been a part of our culture.
This has been our daily routine at TeamGantt since 2009. John and I were the only ones working 4 hours a week when we started. We also had day jobs. Yes, it’s true, only 4 hours. This is not a typo. TeamGantt was an unrelated side project that we started together on Saturday mornings.
We increased the time from 4 hours to 40 hours later in 2011, when we became full-time. It felt like we had infinite time. We learned a lot about productivity and focus when we worked only 4 hours per week.
We can now work 40 hours per week and no longer feel the need to work more. We even reduced our team’s workweek to 36 hours, and still manage to be super productive!
We are not the only ones.
Although it may seem unusual, what we do isn’t the only one doing it. Treehouse, one our customers, is exploding and only works 4 days per week!
Ascent Architecture and interiors has found a way for clients to be satisfied without causing burnout. Their secret? Flexible schedules.
How to make it happen
Remote working is a great way to keep a healthy work-life balance. Because it allows us to be laser-focused on what needs to be done. Here are some ways to make it work.
How can I complete my work in 40 hours?
Working 8 hours a day, 5 days a weeks is a lot of work. You can accomplish a lot if you can reduce distractions and get real work done in 40 hours.
It’s also important to focus on the Big Rocks. Franklin Covey is an example of this. David mentions this in his podcast and I couldn’t agree more. The Big Rocks idea stuck with me ever since I took the Franklin Covey course at a previous job. It’s a simple strategy that identifies your most important tasks and allocates time to them. You should block out your calendar and avoid interruptions. Turn off email, Slack, and your phone for 1.5-2 hours. You can do a lot with that m