Under the Radar

Under the Radar 17: Work-Life Balance


00:00:00   welcome to under the radar a show about

00:00:02   independent iOS development I'm Marco

00:00:04   Arment and I'm David Smith under the

00:00:06   radar is never longer than 30 minutes so

00:00:08   let's get started

00:00:09   I have little hesitation there you

00:00:10   almost said 15 almost so this week we're

00:00:13   gonna be talking about work-life balance

00:00:16   both of us are independent both of us

00:00:18   have had jobs before and and and you've

00:00:22   you did consulting for a while right I

00:00:24   did yeah I did only very briefly so I'm

00:00:26   not much of an authority on consulting

00:00:27   but you are and so we kind of have had

00:00:30   these these different job types and the

00:00:32   the work-life balance can can vary a lot

00:00:35   between them you know I think full-time

00:00:39   employment when you're working forget

00:00:40   somebody else you have like a

00:00:41   nine-to-five kind of job at least you

00:00:43   know you hope sometimes it's worse than

00:00:44   that but that's generally going for when

00:00:47   you're working full-time for somebody

00:00:48   else you you are kind of not in control

00:00:51   of your own work-life balance - - most -

00:00:54   most of the degree but that might be a

00:00:56   good thing sometimes like you know the

00:00:58   full-time jobs can span the entire

00:01:01   spectrum from worst to best work-life

00:01:04   balance and that it really depends on

00:01:06   the job and the conditions around it but

00:01:08   when they're good when you have a nice

00:01:10   easy you know or not easy but if when

00:01:13   you have a good job at a well-run place

00:01:16   working on something that's not totally

00:01:17   crazy that can usually offer the best

00:01:21   and most consistent work-life balance

00:01:22   among all the different employment types

00:01:25   in our business and that you know it's

00:01:27   most likely to be a healthy work-life

00:01:30   balance when you have like a big boring

00:01:31   company that you're working for working

00:01:34   on probably something that isn't that

00:01:35   interesting of work to you necessarily

00:01:38   and that you know that won't be like the

00:01:39   trendy cool thing that all the Google

00:01:41   people are talking about or whatever

00:01:41   like you know stuff that we wouldn't be

00:01:43   talking about on our tech podcast in all

00:01:45   likelihood you know you work for a bank

00:01:46   or insurance company or something like

00:01:47   that like the the we think of these jobs

00:01:50   oftentimes as like being boring but

00:01:52   boring can be really good in a lot of

00:01:54   ways and it can really offer an

00:01:56   incredibly healthy work-life balance if

00:01:59   most of the time you're not working

00:02:02   incredibly long hours you're not having

00:02:04   to work on the weekends or when you're

00:02:05   home you know or on vacation like you

00:02:08   know you don't really take work with you

00:02:09   when you leave work so when you have one

00:02:11   of these jobs that

00:02:13   offer an incredible work/life balance

00:02:15   and usually you know again it might not

00:02:19   be like the most cutting-edge stuff in

00:02:21   the consumer space to get working on you

00:02:22   know you might not be building the next

00:02:23   photo sharing app or whatever you

00:02:25   probably also won't strike it rich doing

00:02:27   this kind of thing because you probably

00:02:29   are working for a more mature sheilo

00:02:31   company where you're getting a typical

00:02:33   salary for the kind of work you do

00:02:35   you're probably not getting a lot of

00:02:36   stock or stock options or at least of

00:02:38   what you're getting will be fairly

00:02:39   incrementally valuable so that you know

00:02:42   there are downsides to this but it's it

00:02:43   can really provide incredible work-life

00:02:46   out because really once you leave work

00:02:48   generally you're done for the day you

00:02:49   don't have to be constantly on call

00:02:51   constantly doing things answering emails

00:02:53   you know at midnight when you're trying

00:02:56   to go to bed and your boss is emailing

00:02:57   you about crazy stuff I think usually

00:02:58   doesn't happen in these bigger companies

00:03:00   and they also can usually help manage

00:03:02   vacation time a lot better you know like

00:03:05   it when you when you work for yourself

00:03:06   you know you you can take vacation

00:03:09   whenever you want but often times I

00:03:10   think we'll get to this oftentimes

00:03:12   that's kind of a bad thing as well when

00:03:15   you work for a big company

00:03:17   you usually accrue vacation time on a

00:03:21   certain fixed rate per year that you're

00:03:22   working there per month that you're

00:03:23   working there and usually they will even

00:03:26   have to pay it out to you if you quit or

00:03:28   get or I don't know if you get fire but

00:03:29   it when you leave like these days are

00:03:31   actually accounted for so like you earn

00:03:33   vacation days and you are often forced

00:03:36   to take them or like they or they won't

00:03:38   they won't accumulate past a certain

00:03:39   limit so you have to take a vacation you

00:03:41   know kind of thing and oftentimes that

00:03:44   is better than like a kind of freeform

00:03:46   vacation policy if you're working for

00:03:47   like a little startup or working for

00:03:49   yourself where it's like you know you

00:03:51   could they're like well you can take a

00:03:52   vacation whenever you want but you can

00:03:54   never stop working like it's often times

00:03:58   that work-life balance that you get at a

00:04:00   bigger company or at a more mature

00:04:01   company is just unbeatable and then you

00:04:04   also have if you're doing consulting

00:04:06   work you know if you decide not to work

00:04:07   for a big company a lot a lot of people

00:04:09   on our business are doing consulting

00:04:10   work and with consulting you are much

00:04:13   more responsible for maintaining your

00:04:15   own work-life balance then when you're

00:04:17   working for somebody else and and it's

00:04:20   kind of a weird middle ground it I think

00:04:22   consulting if I had to take a guess in a

00:04:25   broad generalization I

00:04:27   it's a consulting probably offers the

00:04:28   the least work-life balance

00:04:31   health of all the different employment

00:04:32   types that I've seen from people who do

00:04:34   it because you you don't have a

00:04:37   full-time boss but every client is kind

00:04:40   of a boss so you kind of have like

00:04:41   multiple bosses all of whom have

00:04:43   different expectations on your time and

00:04:46   your income is tied directly to the

00:04:49   hours that you are working for them and

00:04:51   you have to build them for the hours and

00:04:52   they are paying for these hours so it's

00:04:54   kind of hard to waste any and so if you

00:04:58   stop working for say a night or a

00:05:01   weekend like if you stop working the

00:05:03   money stops coming in so there's a huge

00:05:06   incentive to overwork and to not have a

00:05:09   good work-life balance and the NL's

00:05:11   oftentimes consulting work comes in

00:05:13   waves so you might have really created

00:05:15   times and then really dry time it's kind

00:05:17   of hard to to keep things in balance

00:05:18   there so I think consulting hard be the

00:05:21   hardest then you have indie life where

00:05:23   if you if you work on your own products

00:05:25   or if you are the owner of a company or

00:05:27   work is kind of different but you know

00:05:28   if you work on your own stuff you it

00:05:31   seems like you'd have the best work life

00:05:33   balance possible but in reality you have

00:05:36   many of the same pressures as

00:05:37   consultants do where you kind of impose

00:05:41   your own guilt on yourself like if I

00:05:42   wait I'm not working right now so I'm

00:05:44   not like I'm wasting time or I should be

00:05:47   always doing something or this is

00:05:48   unproductive time and like it makes it

00:05:50   hard to enjoy like a vacation or even a

00:05:53   night off like a night to watch TV with

00:05:56   your spouse or go out or something like

00:05:57   it makes it hard to enjoy that when you

00:06:00   work for yourself and you know that like

00:06:02   like I could be working right now I

00:06:03   could be doing something right now and

00:06:05   any time you're not spent working the

00:06:08   work is just not moving forward there's

00:06:10   no one else picking up the slack or the

00:06:12   office isn't just closed for the day

00:06:13   like just things just stop when you're

00:06:15   not working and this can often lead to a

00:06:18   harder than usual work-life balance to

00:06:20   maintain so I don't know so so both of

00:06:24   us are the last cut of our image and the

00:06:27   independent developers who work for

00:06:30   ourselves so and you don't really do any

00:06:32   consulting anymore do you

00:06:33   I don't you haven't for a few years

00:06:34   right yeah so so both of us are totally

00:06:37   dependent now we work only on our own

00:06:38   stuff

00:06:39   but I mean well I guess we could let's

00:06:42   start with kind of like a status update

00:06:43   like how do you think your work-life

00:06:46   balance is I think now like having now

00:06:50   been I think I've been independent for

00:06:52   about eight years and I've been haven't

00:06:55   done consulting for probably three years

00:07:00   or so like I've been fully fully

00:07:02   independent for three or four years now

00:07:04   I'd say I'm getting pretty good at it

00:07:06   it's been the result though of a lot of

00:07:10   effort in time and thought to get to

00:07:13   here because by default you're not gonna

00:07:16   have a good work-life balance like that

00:07:18   was the thing that I sort of found when

00:07:19   I weighed sort of quit my day job and

00:07:22   it's like okay it's like this will be

00:07:23   great I'll work from home I'll be able

00:07:25   to like be around okay

00:07:26   I've started going independent right

00:07:28   when our first child was born I was like

00:07:30   this is be great I'll be home I'll be

00:07:32   around him as he's growing up this will

00:07:33   be awesome and like the default state

00:07:35   was terrible because I was I felt like I

00:07:39   was I felt like concurrently felt like I

00:07:42   was always working and like I was never

00:07:44   working like I was in this weird tension

00:07:46   where like I'm always thinking about

00:07:47   work but I'm also always at home and so

00:07:50   I'm always think about home stuff too

00:07:51   and it was terrible over the course of

00:07:54   the last few years though it's like it's

00:07:55   we've found things that work for you

00:07:58   know for fer me and my family to be able

00:07:59   to be like okay yeah this works like I

00:08:01   feel like I have a good sense of getting

00:08:03   work done like I'm being productive and

00:08:05   useful and not just like she's sitting

00:08:08   on the deck Drina drinking martinis but

00:08:10   I'm also at home when I need to be at

00:08:13   home and my you know my kids understand

00:08:15   how that works and my wife understands

00:08:17   how that works and it seems to be

00:08:19   working

00:08:20   that's good yeah I I have a lot to learn

00:08:22   from you because you know I've been

00:08:25   independent since late 2010 and I so you

00:08:29   know about about five years and I have I

00:08:33   have not found the balance yet I've kind

00:08:36   of oscillate between what you know the

00:08:39   former part of what you said of like

00:08:40   constantly worrying about work and

00:08:41   family stuff and just not getting enough

00:08:45   work done and then feeling guilty I'm

00:08:46   not getting enough work done or feeling

00:08:48   regret that I can't do more like because

00:08:51   you know I have a certain amount of time

00:08:52   of the day I

00:08:53   decided which I think we talked about

00:08:54   I'm sure we will I've decided that it is

00:08:56   not right for me to hire people like for

00:09:00   what like I don't think I would be

00:09:01   happier or necessarily even more

00:09:03   productive if I hired people nothing not

00:09:06   even to mention the problem of a

00:09:07   forwarding them and then the other other

00:09:09   issues with hiring somebody so like I

00:09:11   I'm limited by what I can do and so I

00:09:15   feel a burden from that of like I should

00:09:17   work more or I wish I could work more

00:09:19   but then when I have periods of working

00:09:22   a lot I have a lot of trouble turning it

00:09:24   off to go to sleep at night or to go out

00:09:27   to dinner or something like I have a lot

00:09:28   of trouble maintaining that balance and

00:09:30   so usually I err more on the lazy side

00:09:32   more recently of well I guess I'll you

00:09:35   know I'll be with my family I'll help

00:09:37   out around the house and I'll be present

00:09:39   for everybody but then I regret not

00:09:40   getting more work done and I don't know

00:09:43   I mean I I still have a lot to learn I

00:09:44   think and I think they think there comes

00:09:47   to mind is I always remember like the

00:09:48   insight that I think was most helpful

00:09:50   when I was trying to work this out

00:09:51   several years ago this is like it's the

00:09:54   understanding that my work can hurt my

00:09:57   family life as well as my family life

00:10:00   can hurt my work that I remember when I

00:10:03   was starting out it was easy to kind of

00:10:05   think about it as sort most like my

00:10:06   family life was the thing that would be

00:10:10   hurt from working too much

00:10:11   sort of like which is makes sense in

00:10:13   some ways coming from like a more

00:10:14   corporate environment where kind of like

00:10:16   workaholism is more the typical problem

00:10:18   that you would be worried about where

00:10:19   you work too much and you never see your

00:10:21   kids and all this kind of thing and I

00:10:23   remember when I first started that was

00:10:24   what I was worried about that my work

00:10:26   was gonna hurt my family and then I also

00:10:28   then when I found though it's like it

00:10:30   goes the other way exactly in the same

00:10:32   way that my family life can also hurt my

00:10:34   work and its interests and like both of

00:10:36   these states are such both of so like

00:10:39   these things are undesirable like I

00:10:40   don't want one to hurt the one or the

00:10:42   one to hurt the other like that's why we

00:10:43   call it work-life balance I guess like

00:10:45   if you're trying to find something in

00:10:47   the middle and in the end what I end up

00:10:50   finding is it's like the old saying good

00:10:52   fences make good neighbors like the best

00:10:54   way that I found to be able to improve

00:10:57   my work-life balance is to build Walt's

00:11:00   or build fences between my work life and

00:11:03   my family life both physically in terms

00:11:05   of where I work

00:11:07   of my time in terms of when I work in

00:11:09   terms of the things that I do when I'm

00:11:11   in one place versus the other and only

00:11:14   when I've been able to kind of really

00:11:15   split the two in part in in half if I

00:11:20   found it to be at all functional because

00:11:22   otherwise I'm always you always have

00:11:24   like the guilt on one side or the guilt

00:11:25   on the other and that's like it's

00:11:28   neither productive nor helpful yeah I

00:11:31   think that's probably where I have to

00:11:32   explore like the fencing off both

00:11:34   physical and like you know scheduling

00:11:36   wise because I'm just I'm terrible at

00:11:38   that you know I I work in a home office

00:11:40   my wife is here with me much of the time

00:11:43   my kid is here with me much of the time

00:11:45   he goes to school but you know that's

00:11:47   not every day and that's not all day and

00:11:49   and I work it out and any hour of the

00:11:51   day you know I will work in the morning

00:11:54   sometimes I'll work at night sometimes

00:11:55   like it just goes all over the place and

00:11:57   and there's really no boundaries

00:11:59   to when and where and how I get work

00:12:02   done and as a result it is hard to have

00:12:06   like long uninterrupted spans or it's

00:12:09   not be thinking about work when I'm not

00:12:10   at work you know it's it's hard to

00:12:12   maintain his balance yeah and I think

00:12:14   the thing that I found most helpful like

00:12:16   along those lines is that as an example

00:12:19   I and work every day at 5:00 p.m. and

00:12:22   you would have a martini on the deck

00:12:24   yeah and then I go and have a martini on

00:12:25   the deck exactly but I found that that

00:12:29   one little change had the biggest impact

00:12:31   on my work-life balance like before that

00:12:34   it was kind of this squishy wishy washy

00:12:35   like oh but if I'm like in the zone and

00:12:38   I really want to keep going or that's me

00:12:41   whatever it's like you have this kind of

00:12:43   this feeling of like well it's just you

00:12:46   know I will work until I'm finished type

00:12:48   of concept and the reality is like I'm

00:12:49   never finished there's never a perfect

00:12:52   opportunity to be like yes I have

00:12:55   exactly finished tied this function up

00:12:57   in a bow and now I'm gonna go upstairs

00:12:59   and have dinner and you know be with my

00:13:01   family

00:13:01   and so we ended up deciding like and I

00:13:03   would drive my wife crazy - when it's

00:13:05   like she has no idea when I'm gonna be

00:13:06   home when I'm gonna when went what time

00:13:08   we should do dinner what time the kids

00:13:09   should we expect you know their daddy to

00:13:11   be back yeah like a three-hour window

00:13:12   like I'm gonna be doing something

00:13:13   between 5:00 and 9:00 whenever my brain

00:13:16   turn finally turns off yeah and so we

00:13:19   found this like you know what it's like

00:13:21   need to have a regular schedule and so

00:13:22   like I come downstairs which we'll get

00:13:25   to in a minute about workspace but like

00:13:26   I come downstairs to start work sometime

00:13:29   like is much more squishy like sometime

00:13:30   between maybe 8:30 and 9:30 depending on

00:13:35   what's going on in the morning but I

00:13:37   always finished exactly 5:00 and that

00:13:40   really helps to be able to say like if

00:13:43   it's past five o'clock I'm not working

00:13:44   unless obviously the units are like the

00:13:46   exceptional situation of like you know

00:13:49   some server explodes and I really need

00:13:51   to go and do something but if beyond the

00:13:54   the extraordinary search your

00:13:56   circumstance that's what I do and for me

00:13:59   that was really helpful to say like if

00:14:00   it's past 5:00 I'm off work like I don't

00:14:03   really need to worry about work I'll

00:14:04   worry about it the next day and if it's

00:14:06   before 5:00 I should be working like it

00:14:09   helps on the other side if well if

00:14:10   saying if things seem like they're going

00:14:12   a bit tricky with you know or like I

00:14:14   just want to be with my family or

00:14:15   whatever it's like nope it's not five

00:14:17   o'clock and I can look forward to it in

00:14:19   that sense and then once I'm past it I

00:14:21   can say nope that's like that's the

00:14:22   firewall against it on the other side

00:14:24   and having that kind of regular schedule

00:14:26   like when I'm safe are there something

00:14:27   magical about five o'clock like it could

00:14:29   be any time but having a schedule that

00:14:31   when I'm working I'm working and when

00:14:33   I'm not I'm not has been the only thing

00:14:35   that was been probably the biggest

00:14:36   impact in our ability to kind of stay

00:14:39   stay sane around having complete

00:14:41   flexibility about our schedule all right

00:14:44   we are sponsored this week by our

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00:15:36   can be right at your desk and you know

00:15:38   maintaining your healthy work-life

00:15:39   balance it's your choice now

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00:16:44   internet you will actually like thank

00:16:46   you so much to a blue for supporting

00:16:48   under the radar and all of real afm so

00:16:50   one thing i wanted to extend on a little

00:16:52   bit is sort of the extension of the

00:16:54   concept of having a defined work

00:16:55   schedule that separates your work life

00:16:58   and your physical life is that works in

00:17:01   some ways but you also what i found it

00:17:04   only really works when you're able to

00:17:06   physically separate yourself as well

00:17:07   from the place that you go to work and

00:17:10   the place that you go to not work and

00:17:13   i've de tried all manner of things to do

00:17:16   this and I when I first went independent

00:17:18   it was kind of really are the house

00:17:21   where we lived in didn't really work for

00:17:23   this where it was a split foyer house

00:17:26   and so they're only two levels and so no

00:17:28   matter what there was always something

00:17:30   that wasn't my office and next door to

00:17:32   me no matter where I went and went in

00:17:34   the house and for a while I actually got

00:17:37   office space outside of my house so that

00:17:39   I could do this like even though I could

00:17:41   work from home I found like a teeny

00:17:43   little like office down the road from

00:17:45   where I live and I'd go there

00:17:47   because in now I've thankfully we've

00:17:49   changed houses and I have a place that's

00:17:51   like I'm in this office way off in the

00:17:53   corner in the basement that there's

00:17:55   nothing else around the board I found is

00:17:58   if I don't have a separate place to go

00:18:00   like if I'm working in working my

00:18:02   bedroom or at the kitchen table or

00:18:04   something like that

00:18:05   I was never it's so hard to keep your

00:18:10   mind focused on the thing that you're

00:18:12   supposed to be focused on and it's the

00:18:15   one of the things that I've think iff is

00:18:17   like give advice to somebody who is

00:18:19   starting out working from home going

00:18:21   independent becoming a consultant any of

00:18:23   these things like find a place somewhere

00:18:25   in your house that you only use for work

00:18:28   miss goes when you're there it's like

00:18:30   okay I'm here I've got all my it's all

00:18:32   set up exactly how I like it for working

00:18:34   and I'm working and when I leave there's

00:18:37   I don't come back here unless I'm

00:18:39   working you know it's like I don't sit

00:18:41   here and go through the family pictures

00:18:42   and organize them into albums on my work

00:18:44   computer I do that on another place like

00:18:47   all in any of the things that I needed

00:18:49   to do aren't done at my work at my

00:18:51   workstation my workstation is for

00:18:52   working and that helps both me to be

00:18:57   focused and also if you have children or

00:18:59   other people in your house who are going

00:19:02   to want your attention it means that you

00:19:04   can fight they should have has this

00:19:05   great benefit of being able to say like

00:19:07   no no it's like he's in is like daddy's

00:19:09   in the office don't bother him and you

00:19:12   know obviously there's exception to that

00:19:13   if something awesome and cool that's

00:19:14   going on in the house and that I really

00:19:15   want to know about and I should know

00:19:16   about it's awesome that I'm available

00:19:18   and here to see it but in by and large

00:19:21   it's very easy to have that obvious vis

00:19:25   visual separation it's like nope he's

00:19:27   not here he's at work and then I come

00:19:30   home and my wife and I always joke about

00:19:32   this too because we'll actually use the

00:19:34   terms like are you home like if I all go

00:19:37   up I go upstairs at 4:00 like at 4:00

00:19:39   o'clock to get a snack or something

00:19:41   it's like are you home or are you not

00:19:43   and it's like I actually I'm not home

00:19:45   yet

00:19:45   even though obviously I'm standing in

00:19:47   Mike I'm standing in the kitchen in our

00:19:48   in my home but it's like nope I'm not

00:19:50   home I just need to needed to grab

00:19:52   something and then I go back to work and

00:19:54   it's like it's as though like I've left

00:19:55   like I've got in the car my commute

00:19:57   rather you in a car and driving down the

00:19:59   road now he's walking down the stairs

00:20:01   but I still have one that there's still

00:20:04   something separate physically between my

00:20:06   work and my not work that's really good

00:20:08   I like that a lot they just gotta find a

00:20:10   place in your house that you can do that

00:20:11   yeah well in our unfinished basement

00:20:14   maybe or our hot attic that should be

00:20:16   good perfect well we'll figure something

00:20:18   out I'll just put up a giant scream in

00:20:21   the middle in the middle the room yeah

00:20:24   and obviously yeah like everyone's

00:20:26   houses are different denser like weather

00:20:27   exactly how much you can do that and how

00:20:29   practical it is to do it but it's it's

00:20:32   just one of those things that it's all

00:20:33   about trying to make it like make a

00:20:36   clear line between when you're working

00:20:38   and when you're not working and so the

00:20:39   more that you can make the place that

00:20:41   you work a place that he only is a place

00:20:43   that you work like the better that will

00:20:45   be and it's like trying to do weird

00:20:48   sometimes it is feels a bit silly but

00:20:50   like it's what I try and do like we have

00:20:53   an upstairs office that we do other like

00:20:54   other like homework things with rather

00:20:57   than doing them in the same place that I

00:20:59   do regular work which you know his works

00:21:02   that works for us to have a bit you know

00:21:03   in about two rooms that we can do that

00:21:05   with but even if you don't have these X

00:21:08   pace it's just kind of something to be

00:21:09   aware of yeah definitely the other thing

00:21:12   that I think is helpful to think about

00:21:15   with work/life balance like taking a

00:21:16   step back so like things like making

00:21:18   good boundaries physically between your

00:21:19   work in terms of your daily schedule in

00:21:22   terms of your work space are helpful but

00:21:25   there are also things that are kind of

00:21:27   like there the the tactical day-in

00:21:29   day-out kind of things that you can do

00:21:31   but if you really want to have a good

00:21:33   work-life balance I think you kind of

00:21:35   also have to take the step back and look

00:21:37   at it and say like what are the things

00:21:39   that are constraining my ability to have

00:21:41   a good work-life balance and I think

00:21:44   about in like making sure I'm making

00:21:45   conscious choices about those things

00:21:47   like one thing I always remember is when

00:21:49   I used to do consulting and this

00:21:51   probably applies mostly to consulting

00:21:52   but applies to a lot of things is when

00:21:55   I'd start out I would respect my you

00:21:58   like work email all the day like all the

00:22:00   time so essentially if I'm awake I'll

00:22:02   probably have checked my email in the

00:22:04   last 20 minutes and I would respond to

00:22:08   clients who D mail me something at

00:22:10   whenever I saw it you know they would

00:22:12   send me an email hey did you get a

00:22:14   chance to

00:22:14   check this thing out or you know fix

00:22:16   this thing and I'd respond it and I'd do

00:22:18   it on the weekend late at night early in

00:22:20   the morning if your first thing I when I

00:22:22   wake up I pick up my phone and I'd

00:22:23   respond and what I realized though is

00:22:26   that I'm competin for for my clients

00:22:30   because now they're as soon as you do it

00:22:32   once they'll expect you to always do it

00:22:35   and if you don't that can become like

00:22:38   weird strangely problematic where

00:22:40   they're like oh I emailed you and you

00:22:42   didn't respond it's like yeah you

00:22:43   emailed me at 8 o'clock on a Friday I

00:22:46   didn't respond because I'm not working

00:22:48   but if you don't actually follow through

00:22:51   with that you have this terrible

00:22:52   boundary problem and like these you're

00:22:55   making these commitments that you may

00:22:57   not consciously be making to being

00:22:59   available at times that you really

00:23:01   shouldn't be available and then that may

00:23:03   also like that might make certain people

00:23:05   not able to work with you and I think

00:23:09   you have to choose that like when you're

00:23:11   choosing what you're working on the

00:23:13   people you choose to work for or with

00:23:15   matter just as much as anything else

00:23:18   you're deciding because like certain

00:23:20   like certain employers will want you to

00:23:22   be a workaholic and we want you to be

00:23:23   24/7 on-call for email even if they

00:23:26   don't technically say that that will be

00:23:28   what they expect and it will seem it'll

00:23:29   look bad if you don't do that whereas

00:23:32   other employers or clients are more

00:23:35   healthy themselves with their work-life

00:23:36   balance and and they will you know they

00:23:39   will be okay if you don't answer a

00:23:41   Friday night email until Monday morning

00:23:43   you know and and it's important if you

00:23:45   can find those people and choose to work

00:23:48   with them and you know it really matters

00:23:51   a lot who you work for who your clients

00:23:53   are yeah and and it's and then in

00:23:55   addition to man mattering who they are

00:23:58   it's like that you have to decide these

00:23:59   things like it feels silly at first like

00:24:02   I remember the first time I summer never

00:24:04   ate but I realized that I was doing this

00:24:05   and I would see like I would want to hit

00:24:08   reply and start composing an email back

00:24:11   and they're like wait it's nine o'clock

00:24:13   on a Friday I should not do this and

00:24:15   sometimes I'd like write it out but just

00:24:16   leave it in drafts and at 9 a.m. on

00:24:19   Monday morning I just go into my draft

00:24:22   and I'd sit there and send them all

00:24:23   which is if it's like is it really it

00:24:26   was like a good like a baby

00:24:28   step towards not actually checking it in

00:24:30   the first place but giving the illusion

00:24:32   of health via exactly but it at least

00:24:34   the very least I was setting their

00:24:36   expectation that I wasn't available

00:24:37   right you like I always remember also

00:24:40   with consulting you'd have these weird

00:24:41   things where you start having like email

00:24:43   conversations back and forth with your

00:24:45   client at strange hours because you send

00:24:48   them something and then they are sitting

00:24:50   at their computer to having poor

00:24:51   work-life balance and they were spawning

00:24:53   back as you go back and forth and it's

00:24:55   like you're having this conversation in

00:24:56   at a time when you like you would never

00:24:59   schedule a call with your client at that

00:25:00   time you'd never think like oh this is

00:25:02   like 10 o'clock on the weekend this is a

00:25:04   perfect time for us to have a chat but

00:25:06   it's like this little trap that just

00:25:08   like sucks you in and then you're kind

00:25:11   of you have to work really hard to break

00:25:13   that pattern and get out of that cycle

00:25:15   and then lastly the other boss sort of

00:25:20   like taking a step back thing that I

00:25:21   think you can do to improve your

00:25:22   work-life balance is to look at your

00:25:26   business and see if there are places

00:25:29   that you can reduce the degree to which

00:25:32   your revenue is directly tied to your

00:25:35   time which in some ways is maybe an

00:25:37   obvious thing to say like it's like if

00:25:38   you can make money without doing

00:25:40   anything that's better this is the

00:25:42   promise of like every back page ad in a

00:25:44   crappy magazine like make money while

00:25:46   you sleep

00:25:46   exactly but in a not sketchy way like

00:25:50   looking at your business and saying like

00:25:52   the biggest things that are going to get

00:25:54   in the way of you having a productive

00:25:56   work-life balance are things where you

00:25:59   don't have control like you you don't

00:26:01   have the control over your time in the

00:26:03   same way like if you have a K perfectly

00:26:05   and sort of did split between your time

00:26:10   and your money then you can choose

00:26:13   exactly how you want your day to go

00:26:14   because your time isn't the thing that

00:26:17   you're selling it that isn't the

00:26:18   important thing you know so like if you

00:26:20   look at you if you look at a business

00:26:21   like I think conceptually most

00:26:23   businesses kind of fall into two

00:26:24   categories there's kind of like prepaid

00:26:26   work you know things like consulting or

00:26:29   even this podcast where we get paid by a

00:26:32   sponsor for the episode but we have to

00:26:35   make the episode and then once we've

00:26:36   made it we get no more benefit from it

00:26:39   two things that are kind of like post

00:26:41   pay

00:26:41   so like a product or a subscription or

00:26:43   if you have a retainer in consulting

00:26:46   like those types of things where you're

00:26:47   making money without you having to do

00:26:49   something directly usually it's because

00:26:52   you've done something else in the past

00:26:53   but in the present you know you're kind

00:26:56   of living off the interest from and the

00:26:59   last things and this was something that

00:27:02   was the bit like when I made the shift

00:27:05   from consulting to products which is now

00:27:08   what I do almost 100% essentially of my

00:27:11   of my income is from products is it I

00:27:15   wanted to do it because I felt like if I

00:27:18   didn't I wouldn't have control over my

00:27:20   time because it was always going to be

00:27:22   beholden to somebody else and so I had

00:27:24   to look at my business and say you know

00:27:26   what if I can do this if I can keep

00:27:27   pulling even if it's just 20% of my

00:27:31   businesses is you know is coming from

00:27:34   something other than my time I'm gonna

00:27:36   be able to make Bank my work-life

00:27:37   balance

00:27:38   20% better or at least have the

00:27:39   opportunity to make it 20% better like

00:27:42   if I don't follow through at that point

00:27:43   like that's on me

00:27:45   if I at this point have complete control

00:27:47   over my time and I have a word bad

00:27:48   work-life balance like there's no one to

00:27:50   blame but myself I can't blame my boss I

00:27:52   can't blame my clients I can only blame

00:27:54   me but on the flip side I have the

00:27:56   ability to control that and so looking

00:27:59   at your business or looking at the way

00:28:00   that you're structuring how you work

00:28:02   such that you have you can break those

00:28:05   ties is like sort of like the little

00:28:07   catalyst that allows you to make any of

00:28:09   the changes that we've talked about in

00:28:12   this episode because if you had if you

00:28:14   don't have that control then you can't

00:28:16   change anything in the first you know

00:28:18   anyway and so you're kind of stuck yeah

00:28:20   I think that separating your your income

00:28:23   and your business health from your time

00:28:26   spent is obviously like that that is the

00:28:28   Holy Grail but it isn't that

00:28:29   unachievable like it's actually very

00:28:31   doable and it might take a while and it

00:28:34   might not be a hundred percent of of

00:28:36   your income being separated out that way

00:28:37   and being independent of your time and

00:28:39   and you know you do have to still work

00:28:41   on it occasionally like you can't like

00:28:42   neglect things forever but anything that

00:28:45   you can do to like build up you know a

00:28:47   back catalogue of things that pay you or

00:28:49   build up recurring revenue streams or

00:28:51   things that are yeah things that are

00:28:53   decoupled at all

00:28:54   you will benefit from significantly

00:28:55   exactly and it took me four and a half

00:28:58   five years to be able to stop doing

00:29:01   consulting like but it was a conscious

00:29:04   choice that this is where I'm getting

00:29:05   I'm heading I'm pointing my business in

00:29:07   this direction and that sort of because

00:29:09   at the end of it I like the result and

00:29:11   so that made the work to get there

00:29:13   worthwhile excellent alright thank you

00:29:16   for listening everybody and it's all the

00:29:18   time we have so we will talk to you next

00:29:20   week bye