Work/Life Balance… Is it possible?
Living A Balanced Life
When we fail to be intentional about where we are going in life, one of the consequences is often a life out of balance. Generally, this means that we invest too much time and energy in one area and neglect other equally important areas. For instance, we may invest in our work and neglect family or friends or our spiritual growth. We may invest in our family, but never set aside time for our own personal growth.
In her book, Take Back Your Time: the Guilt Free Guide to Life Balance, Christy Wright, defines balance as: Doing the right thing at the right time. But how do you know what is the right thing? How do you know what is the right time? There are actually four ways that you could be out of sync with living a balanced life.
You are doing too many things: Do you feel overwhelmed, over committed, and over it? In our frenetic, FMO (fear of missing out) culture this is the most common problem that I find with clients. We say yes to everything and believe that not only should we do it all, but we also believe that to be successful we must do it all. We need to be on every social platform. We need to attend every networking group. We need to write a blog, have a Facebook group and start a podcast. I’m feeling overwhelmed just listing these things… how about you?
You are not doing enough things: If you are reading this post, this is probably not you. However, there are many business owners, who simply sit back and believe if they build it, customers will come. They are waiting for their product to go viral or to be invited to be on Oprah (back when that was a thing…). In effect they are putting all their energy into waiting to be discovered or rescued. I’m guessing you know that rarely happens…
You are doing the wrong things: I don’t mean that you are on Facebook when you should be on Instagram. Instead, I mean that you aren’t making sure that your efforts on focused on what energizes you, gives you joy and is congruent with your overall gifts and mission. Running a business doesn’t mean every moment is pure joy, but the overall effect should be positive. If you dread your work, if you have to force yourself to face certain aspects of it or if you have simply added too many jobs to your plate, it may be time to start delegating and setting clear priorities based on your particular skill set and creative spirit.
Not doing the right things: I talk to many business owners who got into their business in order to create margin in their lives and to feed a creative spirit. However, sometimes we let our business run the show and we neglect the very things that we actually went into business to nurture. Are you taking care of yourself, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually? What about your relationships? Are you investing in them or are they in second place… or worse? Lives are never perfectly balanced and there are certainly particular seasons of our lives that call for sacrifices in one area or another. However, if we consistently starve one area of our life of time, attention or energy, then we will one day discover that we have created a situation that may be hard to restore.
Where are you with work/life balance? As you set your intentions for the upcoming year, make sure that your action plan involves doing the right thing at the right time.