I hear so many business leaders and entrepreneurs say they need to find a Work-Life Balance.
What used to be such a common term is now a phrase that people want to change due to its false perception. Like giving “Work-Life Balance” a new name is going to make it easier to achieve.
Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos states that it’s a circle, not a balance. To balance means to distribute evenly. This could be why so many people struggle to find their own balance between work and life – they are looking for this perfectly symmetrical scale.
Rachel Hollis, the author of Girl, Stop Apologizing, claims it’s a myth. More than that– it’s a harmful myth because we assume it’s true and that everyone else has it. If we don’t have it, that means we are doing something wrong, and we’re the only ones who haven’t it figured out.
I say, call it what you want.
Look, I get it. Work-Life balance is not a perfect term. There is no such thing as “even proportion” when it comes to work and life. It’s not like any of us sleep for 8 hours, spend time with our family for 8 hours, practice self-care for 8 hours and work for 8 hours. There is simply not enough time in the day.
Damn, could you imagine self-care for 8 hours? That’s basically a full-time job of taking care of yourself. Is that what they do on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? I could get used to that.
Okay, back to balance.
What people really mean when they say they need to find Work-Life Balance is that they just WANT TO FEEL GOOD AGAIN!
They are tired of feeling pulled in every direction and feeling guilty for not being somewhere or for being somewhere too long. They want to stop feeling overwhelmed and stretched so thin.
They want to feel like they are doing enough and feel energized again!
They are not looking for perfection. They are looking for it to make sense.
Let’s think about it like this. Imagine a yoga pose where you balance on one foot. You don’t have to have both feet on the ground to be balanced. You need to have one foot on the ground for support (since we can’t float), but you use the rest of your body and your mind to stay balanced. Poses like these aren’t always easy, but they are doable.
So is the ability to feel good with your work and your life. Let’s call it…balance.
Work-Life balance isn’t just about our schedule. It’s about living your life with intention. You have to know why you are doing what you are doing. What is your compelling reason for working so much, why do you think you should be everything, and why do you feel like it has to be even?
People say to me all the time “I don’t know how you do it all!’ The truth is, I don’t. It’s impossible to do it all. And I am not alone when I tell you this.
You have to pick the things that are most important for you to achieve, and put them ahead of everything else. And for real y’all, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Is my life balanced? Not like you might imagine.
If you look at my schedule, you will see that I spend more time working than I do anything else. You will also look at my priority list and see that my family is higher on the priority scale than my work, so it might not make sense to you that work gets more of my attention.
Just because something is ranked higher, doesn’t mean that it gets the most time. It means you make sure to put it on your calendar no matter what. Be intentional about it!
Here’s an example. My kids are at the top of my list. I have listed specific things that I always want to be a part of with them and I have designated times where I turn off my phone and computer completely. If they are going to get less of my time than my work does, I want to give my time whole-heartedly. When I have to work late or miss an event, I can do so without guilt. I know my intentions behind it and I know I am giving my attention where it needs to be.
Here’s another example. If you came to my house, you would see that a spotless house is not on the top of my priority list at this time in my life. (Neither is entertaining. It kind of works out.) It’s not that I like my house to be messy, in fact, there’s plenty of days when I think to myself, ‘Whoa sister, you gotta do some do something about this.” And I either make it happen, or I decide that a messy house means I must be kicking butt outside of the house!
That balance everyone is talking about – it happens in our minds. You get to decide how you want to think about your current situation. You get to decide what to let go of. You put what goes on your calendar, and make no apologies. Make sure you like what you are doing. It will never be perfect, but once you are intentional about what you are doing, it sure makes it easier to quit freaking out about something that isn’t on your list anyway.
Back to the question, “Is my life balanced?” Yes.
I work my bootie off every day, and some days I am exhausted. We are on the go constantly with sports, friends, family, and work. My days are full. But I am strategic with my time. I am energized with my work and my life. I know what I am going after and I know why I work so hard. And I make no apologies when I take time for myself, my kids, and my husband.
I. Feel. Good.
You can achieve a work-life balance, a work-life circle, or whatever you feel the need to call it.
Better yet, you can FEEL GOOD about your work and life?
Start today. What’s on your priority list? How do you want to schedule your time? Be intentional about it.