I’ve been thinking about how health and wealth are intertwined—you really can’t have one without the other. If you’re in poor health you can’t enjoy a good quality of life or enjoy even the basic things that most of us would define as “fun.” Conversely, without wealth, or abundance, you’ll have difficulty reaching a state of feeling healthy, strong and confident about where you are in life. Without health, you won’t have a wealth of amazing life experiences. Without wealth, you’ll struggle to reach a healthy state defined as “feeling good” both in mind and body. So why does it seem so difficult to have both at the same time?
There have definitely been times throughout my working life when I put wealth (monetary gains and career advancement) above my health. When I worked in investment banking I worked 70-80 hours a week. I ate all my meals at the office and was lucky to sleep 3-4 hours a night. A week was deemed “good” if I left the office before midnight on Sunday—that meant I would get a decent night’s sleep, spend some time with my dogs, and have a chance to pack a lunch with real food to start out Monday. Living such an intense life with little sleep takes its toll—my health suffered and I rarely found time to spend with my friends and family, but I was killing it at work.
Similarly, when I opened my first Pure Barre studio five years ago, I had to work all the time. That’s what you do when you start a business. There’s lots to complete to build a business. Today, there is still plenty to accomplish—we have a new cardio class launching on Monday, August 14th called, Empower, so I have to learn how to teach it; I just hired some new teachers and they have to complete their training; we are approaching our busy Fall season and I have to prepare so we can maximize those opportunities to reach new clients; and … my book is almost finished—just a few more important decisions to make before it will be ready for sale. But even with that swirl of activity, I’m sleeping 7-8 hours each night, eating well, maintaining a great social life and even starting the process to open another business (that’s top secret for now). So, what’s the difference? How am I managing to at least attempt the balance between health and wealth?
I think it all boils down to setting priorities and thinking creatively to reach those goals. Sure, because I’m my own boss, I have more flexibility to choose where and when I work. But I’ve found a few tools that have helped me become more efficient including time blocking, creating a Power List, and focusing on one thing at a time (there is no such thing as multi-tasking).
The concept of time blocking is pretty simple. You create blocks of time to get your most important tasks completed first and then everything else gets done at the end of the day. Each night you also set aside a block of time to plan your next day and ensure your top priorities are actually tasks that will help you reach your broader goals. Planning the night before means that these top priorities are just in fact that—top priorities not just line items on a list.
If you get to the most important stuff first thing, you’ll actually get it done. You won’t run the risk of being sidetracked or getting tired in the afternoon and not finishing the things that are most important.
Maybe you’ve noticed that I tend to post new blogs really early in the morning—usually at 5:00 AM—but sometimes the posts are later, like 6:00 or 7:00 AM (like today, ah!). If I couldn’t make time to write first thing in the morning, I run out of steam by the afternoon to write and then I’m off schedule posting. It’s all about blocking out the time for what’s most important when you’re freshest and capable of working at your best.
To work smarter, you’ll have to build a better to-do list by making your to-do’s things that are actually important and help you accomplish your goals.
The Power List
If you struggle to develop good, lasting habits, then creating a Power List of your priorities is a powerful tool. The Power List is all about narrowing down to 3-5 activities that you want to incorporate into your life to improve it. You have to keep the list small and focused because the idea is to actually get everything completed, every single day. Then, when your Power List becomes habit and you don’t have to actively think about completing your tasks, you can move onto new Power List items and keep growing.
The Power List should be comprised of things that are important to you to create your best self. Activities like reading 10+ pages a day, writing, working out, eating balanced meals and snacks, spending time outside, etc. … The Power List should not include things you have to do every day, like going to the grocery store, brushing your teeth, or getting to work on time. Creating a Power List is all about focusing on a few small changes, mastering them, and building good, lasting habits.
Focus on One Thing
Have you fallen victim of the multitasking myth? Do you actually believe that you can do more than one thing at a time and do each to the best of your ability?
Multitasking is not a strength. And the ability to multitask should never be used to determine which candidate to hire for a position. In order to be your most productive it’s important to pick one thing and do it well. Then move onto the next.
“Multitasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time.”
–Steve Uzzell, Award-winning photographer, speaker and author
I love this quote because it’s 100% true and a critical component to finding health and wealth simultaneously. Don’t screw things up. Focus on one thing at a time.
Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice productivity to have both health and wealth in your life. It’s just about working a little smarter to prioritize what’s actually important to you. Using the tools of time blocking, creating a daily Power List, and avoiding multi-tasking to manage your time can greatly increase your chances of achieving health and wealth.
But is there anything else you can do to get to health and wealth mastery? Sure! Eat better. Specifically, eat more veggies. But that’s so lame. Those in the know drink their veggies in cold-pressed juice or smoothies. Tomorrow, I’ll share my favorite recipes and tools for making great-tasting juices and smoothies.
Until then, stay on your toes!