We’ve all heard it. The term WORK / LIFE BALANCE. Yep I know, you just rolled your eyes. And I got a little queasy even typing it out – because when you say it like that… it feels like you’re saying work and life will equal out.
Well, I don’t know about you – but I have no desire for work to take up half of my time. I mean – isn’t that why we started our own businesses in the first place!?
So let me let you in on a secret – but it shouldn’t be a secret.. it should be shouted from the rooftops of 30 rock (Today Show junkie here) – but I digress.. let me share something with you.
BALANCE WON’T EVER BE 50/50…
Or 25, 25, 25, 25.. or 20, 20, 20, 20, 20 – or 10, 10…. – you get the idea…
Balance isn’t equal. And do you really want it to be equal!? I again I ask – do you want your work time to equal your family time!? Imma take a stab in the dark and say… no.
So what does balance actually look like..
1. Balance looks differently for everyone.
My balance, and your balance won’t look the same. Just like productivity from last week’s blog (read it here) – balance isn’t one size fits all.
Balance is a very personal thing. Because you get to choose what your balance is. And in order to do that – in order to know what you are going to work to create, you have to know what you want your life to look like.
The first step to creating balance in your life, is defining what you want your life to look like.
That is the beauty of all of this – you define it. Then you work to create it.
2. Balance is constantly changing.
Balance isn’t a constant – it is fluid. There will always be something taking the center stage – and other things taking a back seat. And it changes.
Your balance will change based on your season, each week your balance will shift – sometimes slightly, sometimes drastically… your balance may even change daily. But just because it isn’t the same as it was yesterday, doesn’t mean it isn’t balanced.
The key to staying in balance – is to acknowledge what is happening.
If your kid is sick today, and you don’t get as much work done.. that doesn’t mean your balance is out of whack… it means your balance shifted.
You can plan for this..
3. Balance Requires Priorities.
You can’t balance everything. You are not a seal balancing a ball on your nose. You are a human.
If you try to balance all the things, you’re going to half ass everything.
And that’s not your fault. You cannot prioritize everything. Something will give. You have to prioritize – I recommend a CORE 4 system. Choosing the top four priority areas in your life, balancing those – committing your time to those first. And everything else gets the time that is left over.
But don’t get it twisted – even those won’t be ‘equal balanced time’.
EXAMPLE, my CORE 4 are self, family, business, home.
If I have a sick kid, or are on a family vacation – family dominates my balance, and the rest fall in line behind that.
If I’m launching a new service, business may dominate.
4. Balance Requires Boundaries
Having the priority system is the first step – but if you aren’t willing to create boundaries that allow you to stick to the plan, it won’t work.
Your boundaries will determine how you give away your time.
Time is not a renewable resource – you can’t ‘make’ time. You choose where it goes – your boundaries set the guidelines for how you spend it.
Set a time weekly to create your plan.
Take into account your schedule for that week – and then consider what areas of your CORE 4 need to be dominate.
Designate time for each of your CORE 4 – once you do that you’ll know what outside of your CORE you have time to do. And you’ll also know what you need to say no to.
For more on balance, check out this blog on the areas of life to create balance.
And for more tips + strategies on balance in your daily life as a work from home woman, join the On Purpose Entrepreneur Club.