This week. I discuss one of the most effective ways to make changes in your life when you lack passion and balance for the things that are important to you. It’s all about taking an audit of your time. To find easy wins. So you can burn from within. I remember a client that I had. I won’t mention their name. Let’s just call him Frank. Now Frank owned a seven figure business. You had a business partner, a wife, beautiful children. And when he first came to me, we started our coaching session, discussing some common interests, things that happened that day in the news. And that allowed him to relax a bit. And I asked him why he was here. And after we gurgitate the line from his questionnaire before the session. I could tell he was sharing some surface level stuff. So I looked him deep in the eyes. And I said, Why are you really here, Frank? He took a deep sigh. And then started sharing.
His business was going well. Yep. The majority of the time he spent on it was in business development. Something he hated. His passion was programming. Yeah, he spent so little time on this because his business had grown so much. On top of that. He didn’t see his kids much. Working long hours away from home. He barely had time for any of his passion projects. He started like teaching underprivileged kids at local schools, programming skills that just weren’t taught in their school or playing with his kids. He was enrolled in a distance learning degree in computing, not because he needed a degree, he was a world-class program already, but because he wanted to teach his children, the working hard and getting an education was important. The older one gets. And the more money we make, we realize that the one resource that becomes more and more precious. And in fact, the most precious and valuable thing we have. Is time. What dying billionaire wouldn’t give his fortune to become healthy. And live another few years. So with that in mind. Frank. And I talked about how we could win him back time. Now we all have the same number of hours in the day. Yet the way we spend those hours and how we feel about each minute can be radically different.
Are you spending your precious time, your most valuable commodity? Doing something that makes you happy. That you’re passionate about. That’s important to you. This meaningful to you. For Frank. He was burning out. He wasn’t energized at all from his work week. He didn’t look forward to is Mondays. He felt he didn’t have enough time to spend on things he cared about. His children were growing up fast and he was missing this. He longed to go back to the old days when he was busy making code, doing what he was great at an, in a state of flow.
So Frank and I put together a little plan. I asked him to write down every activity he did each day, Monday through Sunday. Everything he did in two hour blocks from when he woke up to when he went to sleep. Then I asked Frank. What were the most important things in his life? He said his kids. Yeah. He was spending very little quality time with them. He loved programming, but it wasn’t doing much of it. He loved teaching, but he had no time for it. I won’t bore you with all the details. Although I was very interested in them, the point is he gave me a list of his highest values, the things you wanted to spend his time on the most. I asked him what activities would fill his ideal work week so that he lived out his highest values.
And just by this little audit of time, reality versus his time dream. That was a big mismatch. So I said, you know what, Frank. I think we need to make some tweaks to your work week. And we made a few changes. Indeed. People are able to live life on their terms. They just have to work out what those terms are and start moving bit by bit, day by day in that direction so that their current work week resembled more of their ideal work week. Frank had lost the passion for his business a long time ago. I asked him to speak with his business partner and tell him his real strength and passion was in programming, not business development. He also wanted to work a lot less hours so we could spend more time with his family.
A couple of weeks later, Frank returned for another coaching session. He had the conversation with his business partner. And they had made a deal. He was happy. He agreed to sell. His part of the business and stay on for the time being as a well paid employee. Doing what he loved programming. Over the next few weeks, he gradually transitioned more and more. To programming. And less doing business development. What’s more, he freed up his mornings so he could spend time with his kids before he took them to school. He also got to pick them up from school, playing games with them and help them with homework when they got home. And didn’t have to worry about running his business and letting that get in the way of his treasured time. With his kids. He was happy during the days he spent his time doing what he loved programming. His wife and kids saw a new man.
Now I checked in with him about his other values and ideal work week to see where they were at. And there was still mismatches between. His now current work week in his ideal workweek. So we swapped some time that he thought was wasted playing, for example, computer games. And instead. Agreed to dedicate a certain number of hours freed up from this on his degree and found other areas in his week. When we looked into the detail hour by hour, where we could invest time into his teaching disadvantaged kids project. We agreed. If he was doing his degree to teach his kids, the principle of working hard and getting an education. Why not do this in a fun? Enjoyable way. We made an agreement. While his children were in school. He worked on his degree and his teaching project. I wasn’t going to be his boss or his accountability buddy for these things. It was up to him to do it. But a better accountability, buddy. The me. Would be his children. So every day he agreed to report to his children. They were his line managers for these projects. He told them what he’d worked on that day. Detailing how hard he’d worked. Why he was doing this, his degree and what they meant to him. Why he cared about teaching disadvantaged kids about a subject that brought him out of poverty. And the more he worked, the prouder he felt, and the proud of his kids were too. And their relationship grew stronger than ever before.
And it just a few short weeks, Frank had transformed his work week. He had the same hours as everyone else on this planet. Yet more hours were filled with doing things he was passionate about. More precious minutes were spent balanced. With the people in his life, he loved the most. And more time was found. For contributing to others in projects. That meant so much to him.
Why am I telling you this story of Frank? Because that transformation. That shift from feeling unhappy and burnt-out. To living with more passion. Purpose and balance a state I call to burn from within all happened. Because of a couple of steps. Simple steps that you can do to, for yourself. Here they are.
- Step one. Know your values. What’s the five to 10, most important things to you in your life. Categories or areas that you can translate to activities that you love. To spend your time doing. That are most important to you, for example, your kids, family learning, personal development. Travel. Exercise health. Cooking. Skateboarding, whatever is most important to you. Write it down.
- Step two. From these values. Make sure you write down activities that would be in your ideal work week. That fulfill these values.
- Step three. Create an audit. Hour by hour of your typical work week. Be totally honest. You’re doing it to find time your most precious commodity. More precious than gold diamonds or Bitcoins put together.
- Step four. Find the mismatches between your ideal work week. Your dream and you current work week, your reality. Circle opportunities of activities you can stop doing. To free up time for activities in your ideal work week. So you can start fulfilling your highest values. Be happier. I’m burned from within.
- Step five. Have a plan to shift. Transition gradually towards this ideal work week overtime. If you need to speak to people like your employer. Or business partner because you’re unhappy and want to be more productive and happier at work. Go talk to them and see if you knew, if you can negotiate small changes, at least to make a difference towards what you want.
Now you can do this with a friend. Having someone like a coach that holds you truly to account. And spots opportunities like making your kids, your line manager also can help greatly. If you want to go through this process with me, Booker called on. Burn from within.com forward slash call CA double L.
I think though that most of you listening can have small shifts by doing these five steps yourself. But over time, these small shifts can turn into seismic waves that can change your life. We all make shifts towards banning from within. We just have to be consciously aware and honest in exactly how we spend our time. And how we want to spend our time. And then setting a transition plan to get that is the name of the game. We’re more in control of our lives. And we think. We just have to give ourselves permission to be happy. Money doesn’t rule us. Are employers or businesses don’t either. And you may find opportunities. You would never have discovered if you hadn’t started these changes to being happier. Let me know how you get on with the five steps.
To shift to an ideal workweek. Yes there is. COVID-19. And it’s more difficult maybe to negotiate things with employers for some. But do whatever it is you can in your control. They will definitely be opportunities to shift. Just that tiny bit. Towards your ideal work week and live your highest values. That little bit more. And that. Could be the difference that makes the difference for your life. To change. For the better. And for you to smile more and more.
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Shout out to. Repo man, 3000, I think. Your name is Mark from book Brooke’s light. Brooke’s light podcast. Left a review recently. He said exactly what I was looking for. Matt’s interview with Rex about life on your terms was precisely what I was looking for. And further reaffirms my thoughts on the importance of vision. I especially love the part about keeping the belief. With the analogy of the planted seed. Keep up the wonderful work on your podcast, Matt. Look forward to listening to more. Thanks. Very much, Mark. I really appreciate that.
And for any of you who wanted to listen to that particular podcast with rec sites or any of the other ones, please check out the rest of the episodes on iTunes, Spotify, or your favorite podcast platform. Until next time live with passion. Purpose and balance. And burn from within