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Work – Life balance – Is it a Myth, a Fairytale, you Can’t Really Have it All?
Work – Life balance – Is it a myth, a Fairytale, you Can’t Really Have it All?
Let’s start with the definition of work – life balance.
The division of one’s time and focus between working, family and leisure activities.
Notice that in the definition, there aren’t any percentages. It does not say how much you need to be doing for each. When you think about balance, there is always movement, little bit to the right and bit to the left.
Remember when you were a child, you walked on a fallen log. You had to balance to walk across the log, you wobbled a bit especially at first, put your arms out to steady yourself then straighten up. At the end, you probably wobbled a bit to get off or just jumped with all your might.
Trap for Small Business Owners
The biggest trap that people especially business owners fall into is that they think work-life balance should be 50/50 between work and family/leisure.
Balance is all about movement not 50/50.
When you are getting ready to do a launch or a new project, then work is a high priority. If you are having a baby, planning a wedding or a big party; then your family life will need plenty of your attention. Holiday time is also a time when work will (and should) take a back seat. Work life balance is often seasonal depending on what is happening in your life at the time.
Don’t beat yourself up because you are in a “work season” or a “family season”, just remember to make sure it is only a season, not the new normal.
Recently I was getting really bad at going to the gym. I used to go after I dropped my daughter to school. Often, I would make an excuse, book a client meeting at that time or my daughter would need to go to school at a different time so I would use that as a reason to miss going to the gym that day. The little voice in my head would say “It’s ok you can go tomorrow/next week”. I would get to the end of the week and go “Oh, well, next week”. This was not helpful; I needed a change.
I committed to a personal trainer 2 days a week at 6am, yes, gasped, 6AM.
It was really hard at first; however, because I have committed, this is now my training time. Guess what, I have not missed even ONE session!
What Does Balance Mean?
Like most things over the years, the meaning of the word has changed.
Balance can or did mean anything from struggle/strive/rest to equal as we commonly think of it today.
Where does that leave us in the work-life balance debate?
Well, that’s up to you however, here are some things to think about.
Overworking Is Not Healthy
There is no doubt that working all the time is not healthy. Stress is a major contributor of modern illness and diseases. We need to look after ourselves, our wellbeing both mental and physical.
Being A Perfectionist
Overachievers often strive for perfection. However, very few thing if any, are perfect. You often have to put your product out to the market before you can make adjustments to the original by using customer feedback.
Value Your Family Time
Unplug and be present when you are with your family. Yes, put your phone down and spend quality time with them. It’s not always about quantity but quality.
When you are with your family, be present, truly present. Go back to the basics:
- Eye contact
- Active listening
- Ask questions
- Wait for the answers not just your time to talk
Schedule Appointment with Yourself
“Me time” is really important.
Make an appointment with yourself, add it to your diary and make it nonnegotiable, just like my other appointment. Use this appointment to exercise, meditate, walk the dog, and go to the beach.
“But I don’t have time” you say!
30 minutes to an hour a day.
I bet you spend more time scrolling through social media than that.
Make it a priority, make it important.
How to Get Motivated?
Motivation, commitment and accountability mean you can move mountains.
Start by setting your goals. It is so much easier to get to your destination is you have a map to follow.
See episode 7 How to Make 2019 The Most Successful Year Yet For Your Business – Charlotte Brown and 20 Business Goals How to Get Your Business Moving Forward for some great tips on goal setting.
Do the most important thing for each day first and that might be working on your side hustle. Set aside time in your diary to do this.
Start Small, and Then Build Up
When you have a new project it’s all exciting however as time goes on your interest can wane.
We all know what happens to New Year Resolutions!
If your family life is not getting enough attention book in some activities, here are some suggestions:
- Date night
- Family trip to the beach
- Walk in the park
- Kick the ball in the back yard with the children
- Go to the movies, lots of things you can do.
Work – Life balance – Is it a Myth, a Fairytale, You Can’t Really Have it All?
Work- Life balance is not a myth however 50/50 balance is not always possible and often something that you would not want anyway.
Enjoy your time no matter what activities you are doing and be present so you can make a difference.
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