I sometimes wonder if it can be done. Spending over 40 of the first 55 days of 2016 on the road, the days at home seem all too short. Time seems brief. The choices of what to do, and where to be, and who to see, are mulled over — as my community, my tribe is what keeps me going.
I’ve been trying to stay more balanced while on the road and keep that same rhythm going at home. Connecting with others, connecting with myself, keeping habits and rituals, to name a few. Finding balance while on the run has been something I’ve had to challenge myself to. It doesn’t come easy. Life gets busy, times are hectic, holidays are a zoo — it’s so easy to get swept away.
But is there a way to manage all of this?
Here’s a few principles that have resonated with me these past few weeks, and some that I think help maintain balance, no matter where you are.
#1. “Busy” is an excuse.
“Busy” is often the first word to come out (myself included) when asked how we are doing. I recently heard a podcast on this notion of “busy.” Derek Sivers said, “I’m not incredibly busy. Busy implies I’m out of control — someone who has no control and unclear priorities. I say no to almost everything.” Yeah, this one resonated. I’m not busy, I choose my schedule. My days are exactly the way I want them. Truth be told I love being on the road, with short days at home, and I need to own it.
This leads me to the next principle…
#2. No more yes. It’s either a Hell Yes or No.
Derek Sivers wrote an incredible post on managing time (can you tell I’m a fan of his wise words?). He has this philosophy:
“Those of you who often over-commit or feel too scattered may appreciate a new philosophy I’m trying: If I’m not saying “HELL YEAH!” about something, then say no. Meaning: When deciding whether to commit to something, if I feel anything less than, “Wow! That would be amazing! Absolutely! Hell yeah!” — then my answer is no.”
How does this apply to my life on the road or at home? It means I’m no longer committing to things I don’t want to do and pouring all that conserved time and energy into the people and pursuits that truly fulfill me.
#3. The best plan is the one that lets you change your plans
When I’m home I never buy groceries for more than two days — I never know when I may get a better offer. And wasting food is well, wasteful. This concept of keeping time open is freeing. I don’t think it’s being non-committal, but rather leaving room. Leaving room for spontaneity to meet a friend, leaving room while you’re traveling to explore a neighborhood you didn’t know about, leaving room to keep the conversation going instead of having to cut it short. Looking back, so many of my favorite memories weren’t scheduled: Last minute hangouts, nights that got drawn out to the wee hours of the morning, serendipitous day trips, lazy days at home. It’s amazing how much serendipity, surprise — adventure — find ways to permeate our lives when we find a way to leave blank pages in our story.