I am constantly asked by women all over the world how I balance it all and maintain a happy life. My answer is always the same; I really don’t live with balance and I like that. For me, staying home and being in a regular routine does not make me as happy as traveling the globe and living out of a suitcase. I know you think I am crazy, but it is my life and I choose to live it this way. I am happy – no kidding. I complain less than most people I meet who have the perfect balance. I am not bored, I have many interests, I meet so many interesting people and I can get more done with a laptop, an iPhone and a notebook than most people who have a huge office with a personal assistant.
I have fun traveling with my husband and when we don’t travel together, I am excited to see him when I get home. I meet up with my daughter and son-in-law, my parents and sister more than most because I travel.
I am never lonely. I never eat in my room with room service (it makes me feel like I am in the hospital), so therefore I am surrounded by beautiful environments while dining and I don’t have to do the dishes. When I am home, I am HOME enjoying my beautiful house, husband, dogs and backyard. I don’t kill myself trying to get it all done. I have people who help me so I am not spending an entire day doing laundry or cleaning – anyone can have that help if they are working and make sacrifices to spend that money wisely.
So here are some of my tips, my routines and my lifestyle secrets that may help you enjoy this fantastic ride called life!
1. I work hard from 8:00am-5:00pm and then I play. I go out shopping, site seeing, enjoy spa experiences, have cocktails, read, watch movies, talk to my family and usually I meet up with friends in most cities. So when I say I work hard during the day, I seriously mean it. I am in front of people speaking, facilitating, coaching and consulting and during breaks or when the groups are working on projects I answer emails, write blog posts, newsletters, speeches (basically anything I need to complete on a deadline).
2. I use the plane time (during the day) as a work office. I don’t drink during the day on a plane, I don’t watch movies during the day on a plane – I work and treat that work day just as I would if I were in an office. By the time I land, I am ready to enjoy the city.
3. I plan my day the night before – ALWAYS! I have conference calls that begin at 5:00am sometimes (the reason I can’t work out) so I need to remind myself before I go to sleep what time that alarm must be set.
4. I would love to say that when I wake up I mediate or practice Yoga for 30 minutes, but that would be a lie. I get up, grab a cup of coffee, read my emails that came in while I was sleeping (because there so many international clients who are working when I am sleeping) and then I jump on my early morning calls.
5. I get my exercise by walking – I am doing a better job of counting my steps and now average about 6,000 steps a day. When I push myself to go walk around the city I can make it to the goal of 10,000 but that is not a regular routine.
6. I answer all my emails within the day and meet all deadlines. Nothing drives me crazier than people who take days to get back to me. I am all over it. Give me a deadline and I meet it. Therefore I am not sitting at my desk at 9:00pm at night complaining how tired I am. Sure, there are days and nights where I am exhausted and working until the wee hours to complete a proposal or speech, but that is part of the job and doesn’t happen every day.
7. I shop Online, send flowers through Apps on my phone and buy all my birthday cards or special holiday cards in January for the whole year, sort them by month and never miss a special occasion. My team will tell you that there is not a birthday or holiday where they walk into their office without a special ‘something’ for them on their desk. I don’t use travel as an excuse. Again, I have friends who don’t work outside of the home and still can’t remember my birthday.
8. I do my Christmas shopping all year round, ship things home and have a special room that holds all these goodies so by the frantic December season, I am more organized than most.
9. I never put off a conversation or argument until I get home – both for work or personal life. We get everything out on the table in the moment so that we waste no time once we are face to face. We Skype or Facetime so that our conversations are ‘real.’
10. I remind myself every day that I want a lot of things out of life and to have these things I need to work. I will never look back and wish I took a different route. When I say ‘a lot of things,’ these are not all material things. Some people may think I work so hard for the ‘stuff' which couldn’t be farther from the truth. I work hard for my family, for my team, for the experiences and for me.
So tomorrow when you wake up, take a good look in the mirror and make some changes. What do you want to accomplish today and what will you give up to get that done?