TPP #15: How Anthony Abbott Created the Perfect Work-Life Balance

Welcome to Productive People, my blog and podcast series dedicated to learning from productive people who are smashing their goals and getting stuff done.

Too often people feel the need to work ridiculously long hours at their job in order to “keep up”. They feel like if they’re not working 10 to 12 hours a day and sacrificing a significant portion of their personal time that they're going to fall behind or that their boss won’t see them as a “team player”. Working long hours is a badge of honour for many people and is something many people feel is a required element of their job.

Of course when you add hours to your working day, you have to take them from somewhere else – your personal life. This can ruin the balance in your life as your time is heavily skewed towards work and there’s very little left for the other important things like friends, family, socialising, reading, relaxing and working on fun side-projects.

For my friend Anthony, this was all too real. He was working in a full-time role as a motion graphics artist at an animation firm. Anthony is a highly motivated person. He reads lots of self-help books and studies productivity so that he can maintain that sense of balance between his work and personal life.

In this episode of the Productivity Podcast Anthony shares how he was able to leave behind this busy, over-committed working routine to become a freelancer. Anthony now sets his own hours, earns more than he ever has before and has more time for friends, family and fun things like surfing and wakeboarding.

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I met Anthony a few months ago when he started my 7-Day Productivity Plan. I was blown away with how seriously he took the email course (I was getting daily updates via email as to what he was doing and how he was applying the lessons). The 7-day plan gave him the motivation and practical process he needed to leave his job behind and pursue the freelancing career he’d always been thinking about.

Why don’t I let Anthony explain the results in his own words:

“In the last month I have:

  • Officially moved to kill my commute (cutting my commute in half, it now only 45 minutes).
  • I successfully quit! I left on good terms from my prior studio and have already been back 2 times.
  • Established my new career as a freelance animator with the next 2 months fully booked. I am making just under 2.5 times my income with a more flexible schedule.
  • I’ve created life goals and a vision that has been extremely empowering.
  • I don’t like to say this lightly, but I feel my overall well-being has been alleviated. My stress, anxiety and the “powerlessness” that I felt a few months ago sitting in a studio belongs to a different chapter of my life.”

Some of you may remember that Anthony is one of the case studies included in the Personal Productivity Toolkit. As a bonus, you can grab the free case study here:

Enjoy the episode and feel free to leave questions for Anthony below (he’ll be keeping an eye on the comments).

  • Introduction to Anthony and his story (1:45)
  • How do you fit so much stuff into your day/week? (6:19)
  • What were the biggest challenges that were throwing you off balance (10:12)
  • What had you tried in the past to improve your productivity? (18:35)
  • What are you doing now? Tell me about your new freelancing career (22:26)
  • How do you plan and schedule time for multiple projects at once? (28:23)
  • Could you walk us through your daily routine? (36:05)
  • Do you have any top tips for getting more out of Asana? (39:40)
  • What are some other tools and apps you use you’d recommend? (43:50)
  • Where are some of the biggest things people can do quickly to improve their productivity? (48:42)

Be sure to follow Anthony on Twitter. If you want to start the 7-Day Productivity Plan that he mentioned, sign up here!