This Thing Called Balance
My client Jason was sitting across from me at a local coffee shop. I could tell there was something on his mind. He looked up and asked me if I’d ever felt like I was missing out on life. Like I was out of balance.
I said, “is that how you’re feeling Jason?” And as he poured a copious amount of sugar into his coffee he started to explain.
My day begins at 5am and ends at 10pm. I don’t have time to work out, I eat on the run, and I communicate with my son via text.
I don’t even know where the new practice field is for my son’s football team. Because I’ve never been the one to take him or to pick him up. In fact, I realized recently that I’m missing the most important years of my son’s life. Time I’ll never get back.
I asked Jason what he would like to see change and he said, “I love my business, but sometimes I wonder if it is all worth it. Would I be better off selling the business and working a 9 – 5 job?” I want to find balance between my work and my life.
Its a common problem
Jason isn’t alone. He’s like thousands of others who believe that a change in career, or a different job, is the answer. They believe that as soon as they payoff debt, or get a promotion, or find a new job they’ll have more time. That they’ll find balance.
Sometimes a change in career IS the answer. But, most times, it isn’t.
You see, balance isn’t something that you’ll find one day. It’s something you choose. Today.
Well, I should clarify that. The reality is that work life balance doesn’t exist. There are too many things to do and too many deadlines. What does exist, and what can exist is choice.
When you think of balance as a choice it puts you back in control. Life is no longer controlling you. Instead, you’re back in the driver’s seat.
Here are three choices you can make starting today. Yep, three choices that when implemented will allow you experience balance. And you don’t have to get a new job, or sell your business, or pay off all your debt. And the best part is..you can start today.
Take control with these three choices
1. Acknowledge that your super power is not super human. You’re one person. Stop beating yourself up for what you don’t finish in a day. When you choose to be easy on yourself, it frees you up for more productivity. It’s amazing how much time we waste ruminating on guilt.
2. Choose quality over quantity. You may not make every game your son plays. You may make only one family dinner each week. But, you can be 100% focused and present for the ones you do attend. That’s a choice. Put down the phone. You’ll love how free you feel when you’re showing up focused on your family.
3. Choose to own your time. Remember that others take advantage of our time, only when we allow them to. By setting clear boundaries you’re protecting your time. And, as a bonus those boundaries teach others how to treat you. Before you know it people will reach out to you with important problems, not every problem.
Balance is a choice
Balance isn’t out there somewhere waiting for you. It’s here, right now. You have to choose to make it happen.
Jason didn’t sell his business. In fact, he’s busier today than he’s ever been. But, he did choose balance and he chooses how he wants to show up for each part of his day.
He no longer feels as though he’s missing out. He’s engaged in his day and present with his family. Because, like you, he learned that balance is a choice.