These are the two words that embody my day-to-day right now. Finding balance with everything we have going on and being disciplined in what I do. Let me explain what these things mean to me a little more.

Balance

Everybody everywhere has a lot going on. Whenever people used to ask me how things were going, it was always “Things are great, just super busy”, but after a while, it became the easy response to give. I can’t remember that last time I was bored, and I dare to say, you can’t either. With that being said, no matter how much I have going on, it’s an art to always find the balance between doing things in life. Admittedly, I don’t always get this right, but it’s nevertheless important to always strive for finding whatever balance you can between the thousands of things that ask for our attention.

Work-life balance is almost non-existent today. You have the option to always be connected. Past stigmas dictate that one is negative while the other is positive. Now they can both be enjoyable, therefore, the need for balance is greater and kind of an art.

Discipline

Now with finding balance, I have to be disciplined in almost everything I do. Growing our company and brand isn’t easy, and if we really want something to succeed, we have to be willing to put boots to the ground and work harder than all our competition. If we aren’t being disciplined in our work, family time, house projects, exercising, eating right, etc., then it’s easy to become lazy. There are a lot of habits I’ve developed over the years that I’m constantly trying to break, but I’m moving forward, inch by inch.

Life is like going the wrong way on a moving walkway. Stand still and you go backwards. Walk and you stay put. Gotta hustle to get ahead.
– Farrelly Brothers

Now that you understand what I mean by finding balance and being disciplined, I wanted to give a little more practical advice and tools on how I continue to grow in these areas.


**Disclaimer: Everybody operates differently. Overall, I’m still learning to be productive and disciplined, so I’ve tried a number of different approaches from apps to a multitude of best practice books. Some worked for me, a lot didn’t. Try a lot of things and find what works best for you.

PRACTICES:

  • Goal planning: 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, whatever. Dream big, plan what you want to do, then work your way backwards and set the milestones you need to accomplish to get there. We do this regularly.
  • Embrace Distractions… Later: I get distracted very easily while I work. I’m in front of some type of screen 90% of the time I’m working and the internet is filled with a million time-wasters, always trying to grab your attention. Find something that allows you to save the distractions for later, whether it be bookmarking stuff or writing down something that can be done in the future.
  • Prioritize: I’m constantly asking myself when things come up, “what is more important?” This translates past just work, but even family time. I have an ever-growing list of things I need (or want) to do around the house, with Victoria & Cove, pictures to take, designs to review, meetings to attend, etc. For me, family time is always first. I don’t always get it right, but when I do, all the other stuff eventually get’s done.

TOOLS:

  • Basics Notebook: I write everything down. Everything from day-to-day tasks, to monthly goals, to sketches. I like the Basics notebook because it helps me break my long-term goals down to smaller milestones, plan out my weeks and months and gives me small uplifting tasks each week. (They also have a killer wallet that I’ll post about later.)
  • Pocket: I get distracted when I work, very easily and very often. Whether I actually go back to read things or watch videos, I’ve gotten into a habit of saving everything online for later so I can get back to whatever I’m supposed to be doing quickly.
  • Clear iPhone App: I have lists. Lots of lists. Sometimes I even put things on a list just for the satisfaction of checking it off. I’m a huge fan of simple design, and Clear is just that. I’m not sure if they discontinued this, but it’s still in the app store!

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Author Ian Schneider

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