Today I wanted to elaborate a little on something I mentioned in my Balancing Acts blog entry from a couple of weeks ago.
3) Don’t live a balanced day — live a balanced LIFE.
This step comes up a lot with my clients. When we were discussing the work-life balance, it became clear that most of us are a little confused or feel pressured by this notion.
When considering a work-life balance, it appears most of us think about it on a day-to-day basis. Or maybe we think of it in terms of all the things we have to cram into 24 hours.
And this is normally where we all get stuck. We have many dimensions to our work lives, relationships, health, hobbies, and so on. Trying to fit all of these into one day simply leads to feeling overwhelmed, drained, and exhausted. It is impossible to make them all fit neatly into a single day.
So what can you do?
1. Take the long view of a work-life balance. As Nigel Marsh, Nigel presents and writes on business and personal life — and how the two interact. He is the author of “Fat, Forty and Fired.”, says in his TED talk, “A day is too short and a lifetime is too long.” Find the middle ground: Look at it on a weekly or monthly basis. Find a time frame that works for you and measure your balance that way.
2. Take the pressure off yourself. It is OK to have a couple of days where you feel completely out of balance. It happens to all of us; things do get crazy from time to time. But know that it’s just a moment – and one that will pass.
3. Make sure you find your balance. Reward yourself with love, kindness, and a little something special when you have slower times. Sprinkle in enough of all of the people and things in your life that make you feel full, happy, healthy, and on track.
Or take it from Forrest Gump: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” So go ahead: Unwrap it, take a bite, and savor whatever flavor the day brings.