It’s a popular topic of conversation, but what does it really mean? Work is part of life, not it's enemy. So rather than propagate this unwinnable battle, perhaps we could consider a different approach...
"There's no such thing as work-life balance. There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences."
Creating balance in life is actually all about choice. And it’s highly personal. You’ll never get agreement from a room full of people on what defines a balanced life. And that’s ok. We’re all wonderfully unique and the feeling of satisfaction is also personally unique. So first up, stop worrying about how others define this mythical creature and focus on creating a definition that matters to you.
Caryn Seidman Becker suggested in an article on this subject a few years back, that you can have it all, but you can’t have everything. You need to define what it is that YOU want from this life and then go get it. As a mum and CEO, her priorities at that time were family and her growing business. Yet she also made the choice not to delineate between the two. This'll work for some, but not for others. Some people need to be fully immersed in the moment to feel satisfied with the outcome. Others can juggle and love it.
It doesn’t matter your approach, there’ll still be moments of guilt, plus you’ll sometimes mess up. Just remain focused on the bigger picture. What’s your ultimate goal when it comes to enjoying this brief life to it’s fullest? And how are you going to achieve it?
Identifying Your All
Here’s a potentially life changing exercise that could take just a few minutes of your time. I’m sure though once you start, you’ll want to give it a little more.
Note: If it’s a future goal, you’ll also need to define what actionable steps are required to get you there and include a date for each. If it’s an immediate change, the date to start is today!
Once you get a hint of overwhelm with your commitments, stop. The rest can wait. Focus on your top priorities first and put the rest in a drawer for a later date. I mentioned earlier that your choices will have consequences. These lower priorities are your consequences. They may still creep in to your day-to-day but they won’t be your primary focus. You may find this a little frustrating, but committing to too much upfront is the fastest way to failure.
Work life balance may be an illusion, but creating the life you want is not. It really is your choice. And if you feel you haven’t quite got this balance right yet, then do this exercise today. I’ll even send you a template to get you started… just let me know if you need it and I’ll email it through.
Have fun with this. It’s a game changer.
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