Green Box Living


Balancing Entrepreneurship, Parenthood, Partnership, and a Full-Time Job

In today’s fast-paced world, balancing the demands of being an entrepreneur, a new father, a partner, and holding a full-time job often feels like spinning plates. Each role demands a different hat, and the constant switching can drain the quality of life. Enter the concept of “Green Box” living, a framework that has significantly improved my life.

Understanding the Green Box

The Green Box represents activities that are both fun and stimulating, allowing space for creativity, relationship-building, and enjoyment. It’s part of a larger matrix that includes:

– Fires (Red Box: “Draining, Do it Now”): Tasks that are urgent and draining.
– Boring (Yellow Box: “Should and Ought”): Easy tasks that are not interesting.
– Distractions (Blue Box: “Passive Fun”): Activities that provide a break but can lead to wasted time.

Applying Green Box Living to Different Roles

1. Entrepreneurship:
– In entrepreneurship, the Green Box is where all the excitement and vision happen. It’s where creativity thrives, and ideas flourish. However, it’s important to recognise that not every aspect is exhilarating. Navigating back to the Green Box from mundane tasks involves reminding myself of my ‘why’ – the passion and purpose driving my entrepreneurial journey. The moments in between, where I step back and appreciate a breakthrough idea or a small victory, are crucial. These moments provide perspective and remind me why I embarked on this journey.

2. Full-Time Job:
– Within my full-time job, the Green Box is present in interactions with team members, celebrating small sales wins, and helping colleagues overcome obstacles. These moments bring energy and joy, transforming routine tasks into stimulating experiences. The moments in between here are those brief pauses where I can step back and recognise the growth in my team, the progress we’ve made, and the collective achievements that make the daily grind worthwhile.

3. Fatherhood:
– Being a father is a whirlwind of smiles, screams, nappies, and milestones. Finding Green Box moments amidst the chaos involves cherishing the little joys, like my sons laughter or a quiet moment of bonding. The moments in between, when I can pause and appreciate the fleeting nature of these early years, are golden. These moments remind me of the privilege and joy of fatherhood, even amidst the challenges.

4. Partnership:
– In my relationship, the Green Box appears in simple yet profound moments. Asking each other how we’re doing, sharing a laugh, or enjoying a quiet evening together rejuvenates our bond and brings balance to our lives. The moments in between, where we pause and truly connect, even if just for a minute, strengthen our relationship and remind us of the love and partnership we share.

The Challenge: Navigating Between the Boxes

The real challenge lies in transitioning from the Red and Yellow Boxes (urgent and boring tasks) back into the Green Box. This transition hinges on understanding our core motivations and purpose – our ‘why’. Knowing what drives us, what gets us out of bed, and what we believe our purpose to be, makes it easier to glide between obligations and joys.

Moments in Between

Amidst the plate spinning and hat switching, it’s the “moments in between” that often get overlooked. These are the brief pauses where we can helicopter out and gain perspective on where we are, where we have been, and where we are heading. It’s in these moments that we can take a breath and express gratitude.

The gratitude that I get to do this, that I have the ability to do this, and that I have the will to do this – whatever “this” may be. These moments in between provide an opportunity to catch our breath, appreciate our journey, and reconnect with our purpose.

My Journey to Green Box Living

It has taken over 30 years to understand myself deeply enough to identify my drivers. This self-awareness allows me to prioritise Green Box activities and infuse joy and stimulation into all aspects of my life.

By focusing on my ‘why’, I can efficiently navigate through necessary tasks and immerse myself in activities that bring fulfilment and happiness. Whether it’s nurturing my entrepreneurial spirit, excelling in my job, being a present father, or a supportive partner, Green Box living helps me achieve a balanced, enriched life.

Green Box living is not about ignoring responsibilities or indulging in constant fun. It’s about finding and maximising stimulating and enjoyable moments in every role we play. By understanding and aligning with our purpose, and by cherishing the moments in between, we can transform mundane tasks into meaningful experiences, bringing quality and balance to our lives.

So, I ask you – what are your moments in between? How do you find your way back to the Green Box amidst the demands of daily life?

James Penman

Managing Director

Minerva Health & Wellness