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You’d think with technology to assist us, living the daily grind and having work / life balance would be much easier to achieve. Often times, it’s not. With instant access to information 24/7, it may seem like you can’t just “turn it off” and being “on” is the only way to stay productive and on top of things.
I wonder if balance is just a myth. Even with the best laid plans, you’ve gotta be flexible for the sudden changes that come with the territory of both business ownership and life. At the same time you can’t be multitasking all the time. The brain needs to catch up and be able to focus on one thing at a time in order to not get burned out.
How does one deal?
I sought out the answers from Karen Trepte, a Productivity Coach who helps entrepreneurs be more productive so they can make more money and have more time to do the things they love to do.
Here’s what she had to say.
Q: With the daily demands of everyday life, it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and view work / life balance as a myth. This is especially true for time-strapped entrepreneurs who need to stay productive. Would you say balance is possible in this day and age?
A: Absolutely, balance is possible in this day and age but it’s not going to come easy. You’re going to have to put in time and effort to achieve it. When my clients ask how to achieve balance, I ask them what their values are.
Once you know your values, your decision-making becomes easier because you are focused on what you need and want and it allows you to say “no” to the tasks and demands that are not in alignment with your values. (See my 6 Steps to a More Productive You Checklist which further explains this process.)
Q: You seem to have a Feng Shui approach to time management. Can you tell us more about that?
A: Yes, I grew up in Japan and while living there I grew to love Feng Shui. I find Feng Shui to be a calming direct approach to mastering time. It captures your heart and mind and transforms your relationship with time. I’ve created an online Feng Shui Time Management course that brings together the Eastern and Western ways of life to achieve balance and by achieving balance you increase your productivity.
Q: What are your favorite time management and productivity tools?
A: I have so many that I adore and recommend to my clients! My top three would be my calendar, Evernote and an app called Todoist. These tools help me run my business instead of my business running me.
Q: It seems like you’ve been a world traveler most of your life. Tell us where you lived and what your experiences were like. How has that shaped your global perspective?
A: Yes, I love to travel and meet new people. I have lived in Japan, Panama, Qatar and at the moment am loving my life here in California. I believe by living among different cultures it gives us a broader understanding of our world and the amazing people that inhabit it.
Q: How has this world view help you maintain perspective in your own business and life?
A: Gaijin technically means “foreigner” in Japanese where I grew up in Tokyo, Japan. I was also a “gringo,” again foreigner, in Spanish, as a child in Panama. Beyond that, I’ve always marched to the beat of my own drum.
As an out-of-the-box creative thinker, I had struggled with the idea of feeling hemmed in and having my business put in a box, but what I have found in my experience is that structure gives us more freedom.
Q: Do you have any other piece of advice for those feeling stuck in their business or life journey?
A: I would like to let them know they are not alone! I have met many entrepreneurs who have at one point or another felt stuck, paralyzed and did not know what steps to take to get out of the overwhelm.
My advice would be to find a business or life coach. There is no need for you to suffer through the stress and overwhelm of running your business when there are coaches out there who live and breathe the strategies that will bring you back to a place of ease and joy in your business.
Karen Trepte is a Productivity Coach who helps entrepreneurs be more productive so they can make more money and have more time to do the things they love to do. She learned the ropes by starting numerous successful businesses including a flower shop and multiple MLMs. She even used to carry her daughter on her back to sales calls! Karen’s motto is “Work is joy.” Find out more on her website www.gaijinworkscoaching.com.