Ep37: The Myth of Work-Life Balance (And What to Strive For Instead) | with Apryl Schlueter


Work-life balance. It’s the unicorn we all strive for and hope to achieve someday, but if you were put on the spot right now, would you be able to clearly define what work-life balance means to you? And to be frank, is balance something that even sounds appealing? Frankly, I think balance sounds plain boring. And I say that valuing nothing else in life above my family, my wife, and my two children.

I’ll go even further and say that I believe work-life balance as we know it today is a myth, and if we stop perpetuating it and start striving for something else entirely, that’s when we’ll reach the sweet spot. The key is to start coveting presence over work-life balance. Have no idea what that means? Listen on and you will.

In today’s interview I chat with Apryl Schlueter who is the Chief Energy! Officer of The Cheerful Mind, Inc. She’s a happiness and productivity coach, speaker, and the author of Finding Success in Balance: My Journey to The Cheerful Mind. Now hold on a second…I know what you’re already thinking: “Ugh. A life coach? No!!!!!”

But Apryl is not any life coach. Her skillset ranges from being able to solder a digital circuit in her sleep (and engineer that same circuit from scratch thanks to her background in electrical engineering), compete at the highest level as a cheerleader AND trapeze artist, and she’s a total productivity and Trello nerd just like me. Needless to say, Apryl and I have a lot of strategies to share with you today about how to redefine your picture of what work-life balance really is, and more importantly, we provide several strategies to help get you there.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • Growing up with the restrictions of a strict career mindset
  • Defining what life balance actually means
  • Communicating with family in the conversation on balance
  • Establishing a healthy mindset and definition of balance before efficiency
  • Teaching your brain to perform good habits on auto-pilot
  • How focusing on process efficiency can impact every aspect of your life
  • The off-putting myths of work/life balance
  • Setting boundaries and saying “no” as a productivity tool
  • Dealing with the most common “time suckers”
  • The importance of regular reviews
  • John Acoff book “Finish”

Useful Resources Mentioned:

Optimize Yourself – Cheerful Mind

Finding Success in Balance: My Journey to The Cheerful Mind

The Cheerful Mind, Inc.

Focus Yourself Waitlist

Our Generous Sponsors:

This episode is made possible by Ergodriven, the makers of the Topo Mat, my #1 recommendation for anyone interested in moving more at their height-adjustable workstation. Listen, standing desks are only great if you’re standing well, otherwise you’re constantly fighting fatigue and chronic pain. Not like any other anti-fatigue mat, the Topo is scientifically proven to help you move more throughout the day which helps reduce discomfort and also increase your focus and productivity. And they’re really fun and a great conversation starter.

This episode is made possible by the HumanCharger,  a revolutionary new light therapy device made specifically for people who spend long days in the dark and don’t get enough sunlight…i.e. You and me. Simply put in the earbuds for 12 minutes a day to receive your daily recommended dosage of UV-free white light. Doing so can drastically increase your energy, improve your mood, and increase mental alertness and focus.This device has literally changed my life and I use it every morning without fail. Use the code ‘OPTIMIZE’ to get 20% off your order.

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Guest Bio:

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Apryl Zarate Schlueter is the Chief Energy! Officer of The Cheerful Mind, Inc. — a happiness and productivity coach, speaker, and the author of Finding Success in Balance: My Journey to The Cheerful Mind. After years of working in various industries, Apryl realized her true passion for helping people streamline their lives to make time for more joy, balance, and ease. She uses the strategies of productivity, goal-setting, and planning infused with personal development methodologies, stress management, and self-care to help curb overwhelm that results from a busy lifestyle, and helps people have more fun while getting stuff done! You can learn more about Apryl at www.thecheerfulmind.com.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared and published by Jakin Rintelman. Special thanks to Krystle Penhall and Sarah Furie for helping to spread the love!

The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).


Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Zack Arnold is an award-winning film & television editor (Burn Notice, Empire, Shooter, Glee), member of the American Cinema Editors, a documentary director (GO FAR: The Christopher Rush Story), and creator of the Optimize Yourself program (formerly ‘Fitness In Post’). He helps ambitious creative professionals like you learn how to more efficiently manage your time, energy, and attention so you can maximize your creative focus and minimize procrastination, depression, and burnout. After all, what’s the point of killing yourself for the sake of your career if you don’t have energy to spare for the most important people in your life?