Revealed: The Dirty Little Secret To Greater Work-Life Balance

The world has gone crazy out there. At least it looks that way to an awful lot of people. In fact, tomorrow I’m speaking live at a conference and my opening line will be this challenge: “I challenge you to watch, listen, or read the news, from any source you choose, and not feel angry or scared.”

So it’s no wonder you’re feeling more stressed out than you would like and a bit off balance. I believe I can help you with that.

Most speakers, consultants, coaches, books or whatever source of information you use tend to focus on one or two aspects of work-life balance. The bad news is that doesn’t work.

You see, you have eight dimensions in your life, not just one. And here comes the dirty little secret to greater work-life balance: You must have something positive and effective in all eight dimensions of your life.

Take a look at my pie chart where I outline the eight dimensions: Physical, Recreational, Financial, Occupational, Relational, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual.


You can’t be in great shape Physically, for example, and be Mentally ignorant and have a healthy work-life balance. Or you can’t have a lot of fun Recreationally but Emotionally be a stressed-out mess. That’s not balance.

As I said before, the dirty little secret to greater work-life balance: You must have something positive and effective in all eight dimensions of your life.

In today’s Tuesday Tip, I want to give you a few things you can do to be in better shape physically. Pick one of them to include in your life, and you will be taking a big step forward in your quest for a lasting, invigorating, impactful work-life balance.

►1. Stop Consuming Caffeine.

Although people think they perform better on caffeine, the truth is, they really don’t. Actually, we’ve become so dependent on caffeine that we use it to simply get back to our status-quo. When we’re off it, we underperform and become incapable.

Isn’t this absurd?

With healthy eating, sleeping, and exercise, your body will naturally produce far more and better energy than caffeine could ever provide. Give it up and see what happens. You will probably get withdrawal headaches. But after a few days, you’ll feel amazing.

► 2. Stop consuming refined sugar.

If you stop consuming sugar, your brain will radically change. Actually, study after study is showing that refined sugar is worse for our brains than it is for our waistlines. According to Dr. William Coda Martin, refined sugar is nothing more than poison because it has been depleted of its life forces, vitamins and minerals.

Refined sugar has now been shown to make us cranky, rash, stupid decision makers. And who wants that?

Of course, if you stop eating refined sugar, you will experience some negative withdrawals. But, like any good habit, the positive effects of this will be seen in the long-run. I saw that when I cut out sugar and went from pain, stiffness, and even crutches at one point to a lifestyle where I take daily walks and frequent mountain hikes

F.Y.I. I continue to speak to many audiences each year on work-life balance. Click here for more information on my program, Take This Job and Love It! How To Keep Your Balance In A Stressed-Out World.

► 3. Fast from all food and caloric beverages 24 hours once per week.

I can already hear some of you moaning when I mention this health practice. But remember above, I said choose one of these health regimens. You don’t have to do them all to feel a great deal better.

So once a week, for 24 hours, don’t consume any food or caloric beverages. Research confirms that fasting leverages the self-healing properties of the human body. Radical health improvements occur when your digestive system is given a rest and the organs get ample time to repair and heal themselves.

A regular practice of fasting can:

• Improve digestive efficiency

• Increase mental clarity

• Increase physical and mental vigor

• Remove toxins

• Improve vision

• Give a general feeling of well being

Like all the other habits, fasting gets easier with practice.

► 4. Go to bed early and rise early.

Sorry night owls, but the research does not support you.

According to countless research studies, people who go to bed and rise early are better students. Harvard biologist Christoph Randler found that early sleep/risers are more proactive and are more likely to anticipate problems and minimize or solve them quickly, which leads to being more successful in the business.

Other benefits of going to bed and rising early — backed by research — include:

• Being a better planner

• Being holistically healthier as individuals

• Getting better sleep

• More optimistic, satisfied, and conscientious

Waking up early allows you to consciously design your day. You can start with a morning routine that sets the tone for your whole day. Whether you pray, exercise, listen to or read inspiring content, or write in your journal, you’re taking some time to show yourself some self-respect. This routine will give you a much stronger buzz than a cup of coffee.

► 5. Replace warm showers with cold ones.

Human performance expert Tony Robbins starts every morning by jumping into a 57-degree Fahrenheit swimming pool.

Why would he do such a thing?

Cold water immersion radically facilitates physical and mental wellness. When practiced regularly, it provides long-lasting changes to your body’s immune, lymphatic, circulatory and digestive systems that improve the quality of your life. It can also increase weight-loss because it boosts your metabolism.

A 2007 research study found that taking cold showers routinely can help treat depression symptoms often more effectively than prescription medications. That’s because cold water triggers a wave of mood-boosting neurochemicals which make you feel happy.

Those are all super neat benefits for a few minutes of cold water.

► 6. Consume 30 grams of protein within the first 30 minutes of waking up.

Donald Layman, professor emeritus of nutrition at the University of Illinois, recommends consuming at least 30 grams of protein for breakfast. Similarly, Tim Ferriss, in his book, The 4-Hour Body, also recommends 30 grams of protein 30 minutes after waking up. According to Tim, his father did this and lost 19 pounds in one month.

Protein-rich foods keep you full longer than other foods because they take longer to leave the stomach. And protein keeps your blood-sugar levels steady, which prevents spikes in hunger.

Eating protein first decreases your white carbohydrate cravings. These are the types of carbs that get you fat. Think bagels, toast, and donuts.

Final Thought: You only live once. Why not make it a life that is filled with as much health, energy, and vitality as is humanly possible? Any one of the strategies listed above will take you in that direction.