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Carving Out Time for Yourself

I release two videos and a blog post every week. I release special content on my Patreon every month. I have a day job, a wife, two dogs, and a house that needs a lot of work.

And yet, with the exception of the last few weeks pushing toward the holidays (plus those few weeks when I had to reshoot a bunch of videos because my hard drive crashed), I've been able to strike a pretty decent work/life balance and still hit my deadlines. How?

Through sheer tyranny of will.

No, that's not even a joke. Because the truth is, if I can get myself into the right mindset (which I can't always, but when I can, that's when the system works), I can get up early, stay up late, get lots done, and still have plenty of energy throughout the day.

The thing I've discovered about myself is that I can get plenty of things done if I can convince myself I have to do them.

For example: I'm generally an early riser compared to a lot of people, but if I don't have to go into the office, I'll usually sleep until the last possible moment until I need to wake up.

But if you tell me that we are boarding a flight at 6am, and I need to be up at, say, 3:30am to take a shower, load the baggage into the car, and pack the carry-on with the final items we need, then I can do that with no problem. Because I know it's something that has to get done, I'll prepare myself emotionally for it, and have absolutely no issues doing it.

When the system is working, I can get up around 6am, be sitting at my desk at 7am (hopefully sooner, but there's no guarantee I'll actually move quickly when I'm showering and changing and the like), and have gotten a good chunk of work done for my channel before my day job starts and before my wife wakes up.

And because of that, I don't tend to need time at the end of the day to sneak away from my family and edit a video (not saying that never happens, but it usually doesn't happen more than once or twice per week, at most). Which means after work and after dinner, I can curl up with my wife and watch a movie, or play a board game. And maybe, just maybe, in the New Year I can get back to doing some reading as well - now that would be very nice.

In truth, the way I manage my work/life balance is by forcing myself to be a morning person. The more I can get done every morning, the less I need to worry about at night.

When the system doesn't work is when I run into issues. If I didn't get up early enough to get anything done before work and before my wife wakes up, then I find I'm trying to sneak video editing in between calls and whatever house projects we need to work on. And then I'm not taking the time I need to actually work on my videos, and I'm shortchanging myself. And that's what makes the balance worse. So, all I need to do... is just commit to those early mornings. Because when I do, I'm so much more productive, and that helps boost my mood for the entire rest of the day.

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