My Ideal Balance

The more I dive into this music business, the more I realize that it truly is a self discovery journey vs finding out what music business is about. I am finding out what I want out of life and how to achieve balance between the various elements that make up the life I want.

I was watching a TED talk by Nigel Marsh who talks about work/life balance. He talks about being a “classic corporate warrior” and essentially realizing how to achieve a work/life balance. I watched this fairly close to or right after I decided to quit my day job and dive into music and have been thinking/re-watching this video ever since.

(https://www.ted.com/talks/nigel_marsh_how_to_make_work_life_balance_work?language=en)

This TED talk made me reflect on my own work/life balance. I consider myself “lucky” as I now have music and family that make up my work/life balance. I have a fantastic opportunity that perhaps some don’t have. After quitting my day job, I did have another skill and passion to draw on, music. Some friends I have recently talked to don’t know what they would do if they stepped out of their current job. They wouldn’t just want to step into another job that there was no passion for, otherwise why do so in the first place. I also recently talked to a music colleague who said that s(he) is thinking about doing the opposite of what I was doing. This person is successful in music and is playing a lot, but isn’t happy with the fact that the musician’s schedule doesn’t line up with his/her partner’s “9 to 5” schedule. The work/life balance is not at an equilibrium for this person.

Once you experience a balanced day, it is amazing! I haven’t had this until this past weekend. It took the motivation of my wife to achieve this day as I had a rather late gig the day before and was understandably tired. Likely balance can be achieved on your own, but it is amazing when you have a life partner that supports you and every now and than, kicks you gently in the right direction.

Nigel Marsh outlines four observations he made about work/life balance. I’m quoting from the video and suggest you take the 9min57s to watch the video, but here is my high level outline:

  1. Honest debate is needed about work/life balance
  2. Face the truth and take control and responsibility for the type of life you want to lead
  3. Be careful with the timeframe you choose upon which to judge your balance
  4. Approach balance in a balanced way

For observation 3 I thought about what my balanced timeframe looks like. Nigel discusses the importance of judging balance not based on a day, not based on what may happen 35 years from now when I’m hopefully retired, but to have some form of reference between these two extremes.

I will start with my balanced day that I recently experienced and will project what a balanced week, a balanced month, and a balanced year would look like.

 

My Balanced Day – as I lived it on Saturday July 9th 2016

9:00am:

Woke up rested thanks to my wife who took care of our son in the morning, allowing me to get a few extra hours of sleep after a late night gig the day before. I would have gotten about 7 hours of sleep.

9:00am to 10:00am:

Do the usual morning routine of having breakfast/shaving/showering.

10:00am to 10:30am:

IMG_1175 Do 30 minutes of warming up / practicing on the trumpet

10:30am to 11:15am:

IMG_3181 Go out with my wife and son to do some grocery shopping (domestic chores)

11:30am to 1:00pm:

IMG_3190 Family activity time. Today we went for a walk near the waterfrontIMG_3183

1:00pm to 1:30pm:

Lunch and get ready for gig#1

2:00pm to 4:00pm:

Play a small band gig with a singer/songwriter in a park

4:00pm to 2:00am:

IMG_3209 Go to play a wedding gig IMG_3214

2:00am to 9:00am:

IMG_3179 Get home, check in on Sebastian, go to bed and Sleep for 7 hours

My Ideal Balanced Week (keeping in mind that my wife also has a day job)

Monday:

  • 4 hours spent with Sebastian in the morning
  • 2 hours spent on domestic chores
  • 4 hours spent on music related items such as practice, professional development, and music business
  • 2 hours spent with my family, perhaps having dinner or playing in the yard/playground
  • 5 hours spent earning money with a music related activity, for example playing a gig or teaching private lessons
  • 7 hours spent sleeping

Tuesday:

  • 4 hours spent with Sebastian in the morning
  • 2 hours spent on domestic chores
  • 4 hours spent on music related items such as practice, professional development, and music business
  • 2 hours spent with my family, perhaps having dinner or playing in the yard/playground
  • 5 hours spent earning money with a music related activity, for example playing a gig or teaching private lessons
  • 7 hours spent sleeping
  • 4 hours spent with Sebastian in the morning

Wednesday:

  • 4 hours spent with Sebastian in the morning
  • 2 hours spent on domestic chores
  • 4 hours spent on music related items such as practice, professional development, and music business
  • 2 hours spent with my family, perhaps having dinner or playing in the yard/playground
  • 5 hours spent earning money with a music related activity, for example playing a gig or teaching private lessons
  • 7 hours spent sleeping

Thursday:

  • 4 hours spent with Sebastian in the morning
  • 2 hours spent on domestic chores
  • 4 hours spent on music related items such as practice, professional development, and music business
  • 2 hours spent with my family, perhaps having dinner or playing in the yard/playground
  • 5 hours spent earning money with a music related activity, for example playing a gig or teaching private lessons
  • 7 hours spent sleeping

 

Friday:

  • 4 hours spent with Sebastian in the morning
  • 2 hours spent on domestic chores
  • 4 hours spent on music related items such as practice, professional development, and music business
  • 2 hours spent with my family, perhaps having dinner or playing in the yard/playground
  • 5 hours spent earning money with a music related activity, for example playing a gig or teaching private lessons
  • 7 hours spent sleeping

Saturday:

  • 8 hours spent with family
  • 2 hours spent on domestic chores
  • 7 hours spent earning money with a music related activity, for example playing a gig or teaching private lessons
  • 7 hours spent sleeping

Sunday:

  • 12 hours spent with family
  • 2 hours spent on domestic chores
  • 3 hours spent on music development, for example practice
  • 7 hours spent sleeping

My Ideal Balanced month/year

In a given month or year, I would ideally like to spent an equal amount of time on my family and on music as well as having some time left to myself for sleeping/working on things I enjoy.

What does your balanced day/week/month/year look like?

 

 

 

 




One comment on My Ideal Balance

  1. Jordan

    Balance is a tricky thing — it’s a moving target. My idea of “balance” has shifted a lot over the years (especially when we became parents for the first time — and again the second time).


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