Location independence, to me, does not mean constantly traveling around the world. It’s simply having the freedom to live in my favorite place and work when I want from where I want. Although it does also mean that I can move around and vacation at will, without the typical geographic limitations of having a job or working for someone else.
I’m self-motivated and it’s actually easier for me to work than to relax. I spent many years working a ridiculous number of hours. Admittedly there was a reason for it, and it didn’t bother me because I love my work. But I was working all the time, which meant I wasn’t living.
I had no sense of balance. It was just work, work, work. Now I make a conscious effort to spend more time living and doing things I enjoy that aren’t business-related. I work an average of 6 hours per day and take at least one day completely off per week.
Critical to Understand
Work-Life Balance is a commonly talked about ideal that people seem to constantly strive for. And they often feel they’re failing to achieve it. You may be one of them. So was I. Here’s the problem: when we hear the word “balance,” our brain visualizes “equal.” But balance doesn’t have to mean equal. And equal isn’t usually the goal we’re seeking either.
You need to look at what “balance” actually means to you, because balance is different for everyone. Find the ratio of work, life and play that meets your needs and keeps you happy, and that is your balance. For me, it’s the ability to have flexible work hours spread throughout the day and night so that I can freely fluctuate between personal time and business time on my own terms and not on a set daily schedule. That’s the way I prefer my life to be. That allows me to balance the things I want and need to do, and work at the times I’m most productive.
Now & Later and Non-Negotiable Flexibility
I arrange my work hours around daily priorities. Sometimes those priorities are business-related, like if I have classes to teach at specific times. Sometimes they’re not, like when my local friends are having a get-together. My main priority is flexibility… having the flexibility to work when I’m best able and when I most want to, so that I can focus on other things I want to do.
Right now, while we’re still in Rhode Island, much of that revolves around spending time with Kai (enjoying his puppyhood) and family that I won’t see much once we move. Once Kai meets the quarantine requirements and we’re able to relocate, I’m going to love where I live and want to give myself the time to enjoy my new home, gorgeous surroundings and the outdoor life of Hawaii. And there will be things that are non-negotiable for me every day… my morning walk on the beach with Kai, followed by breakfast (my favorite meal), and watching the sunset every evening.
I can pretty much work my schedule around anything and I love having the flexibility to do that.
Some of My Secrets
Some of the secrets to my success: prioritizing, systems, consistency, batching, automation. I know what my priorities are for any given day, then plan around them. I set up systems for as many things as possible and rely heavily on automation to eliminate wasting time on redundant tasks while at the same time making sure my clients and customers are well taken care of. I try to use consistency and batching to my advantage as well… weekly and nightly planning, themes for my days, team meetings at the same time every week, client calls on the same day, classes taught the same day each week, etc.
What do location independence and balance mean to you? Tell me in the comments.