Balance is hard for me. I’m referring not only to arm balances in yoga (#operationsidecrow), but also finding balance in every day life. The struggles around Work/Life Balance come up regularly and don’t get me started on weighing my Concern for the Environment vs. Time vs. Money.
Since I work from home it’s easy to spend hours at the computer and forget to take a break. As a freelancer, sometimes I say yes to work, forcing me to value my business over my social life – especially when bills are due. Is it possible to have both – a strong career AND live the life you want? The simple answer is, yes! But how?
1. Think small
In a recent counseling session, one of my grooms complained about a hectic work schedule and not being able to connect with friends. When I asked him some things he could do to have stronger friendships, he mentioned two things. He said that it would be great to connect with his closer friends that live out of state on the phone and plan an evening with friends that live locally. The phone call would be about an hour. And the evening outing could take place twice a month. Totally do-able in the grand scheme. What are some small things you can do to carve out a bit more time?
2. Get a Better Calendar
Whether you use a paper calendar or an app, sometimes a good visual will bring a little clarity into where your time goes. If you color code work hours and social events or family time, it’s easy to see the imbalance. If you need (or would like) to spend more time with your partner or a group of friends, perhaps you can create a calendar that you all share. And don’t forget about alerts and alarms to remind you when you need to focus on you and those you love!
While all of the apps and notifications are helpful to keep us on track, our tendency is to have our noses in our phones. This is not helpful in social settings or in strengthening our relationships. Work likes to know that we are always accessible and reachable. But do we have to be? In order to create connection and live your best life you must be present. And to do that, it’s important to power down the computer and put your phone away.
It’s all about choices and what’s most important in the moment. If you have a big work deadline, that will be your priority and you’ll find time to play later. Or if you value a clean home and don’t have time to scrub and dust, maybe you can hire someone to do it for you. Figure out what you want, what your options are and make the best choice for the situation and your sanity.
Where do you struggle with balance? What are some techniques that work for you? Feel free to share in the comment section below.