All throughout June, we’re focusing on creating balance in your life, and we couldn’t let this topic go by without touching on that elusive work/life balance that we all work so hard to achieve. As business owners and planners, achieving the perfect work/life balance oftentimes feels impossible or, at the very least, a long (looooong) way out from where we currently are in life. Today, then, we wanted to share some tips for nailing that work/life balance.
Create balance rather than “find” it
We touched on this concept in this month’s wallpaper download post, but it’s worth repeating: Start thinking about balance as something you create, rather than something you find. Finding balance feels as though it relies on luck. Creating balance, on the other hand, shifts the power from the balance itself (and whatever secret garden it lives in) to us--it empowers us to create it, rather than simply search for it. It reminds us that every single individual is able to create balance in their own unique way that’s best suited for their lifestyle, rather than thinking there’s a one-size-fits-all form of balance floating around out there that, if we’re lucky, we might one day find.
Shift your focus from stress to solutions
As is the case with so many things in life, the second we stop worrying about it (whatever “it” is), the second it falls into place. As business owners, we often stress ourselves out worrying about that work/life balance and how well (or not well) we’re working toward it. But, the more time you spend worrying about things you could have done differently, the less time you have to work toward creating actual solutions. So, stop stressing about your work/life situation and how out of balance it may be, and instead try coming up with solutions.
Rather than dwelling on the fact you you are going to have to miss your daughter’s soccer game due to a wedding-filled weekend, think about what you can do to get back that time in a new way. Try keeping a notepad with two columns--one for the “stress” and one for “solutions”--to help you with this. Every time to catch yourself dwelling on a missed engagement, overworked weekend or failed attempt at family time, write down what it is that you’re stressing about in the left-hand column, and force (or allow) yourself to let it go as soon as it’s written down. Then, shift your mind to a more productive state and write 3-5 solutions for this issue in the right-hand column. Remember, you can’t change the past, but you can come up with solutions for the future.
Give yourself a social media break
Social media can be such a double-edged sword. It’s great for putting our businesses out there and sharing our planning portfolio with the world, but it can be distracting when it comes to achieving a work/life balance. It makes it so easy to compare our lives to the lives of others, which can be detrimental to our happiness and the balance we’re hoping to creating.
Everyone has their own unique brand of balance and we can’t spend time comparing someone else’s to our own, regardless of how tempting it may be. If you find that scrolling through feeds in your downtime and analyzing others’ accounts (and others’ vacations...and others’ family lives) has become a regular part of your life, take a week-long break (at minimum) from all social media channels. (This may mean deleting the apps from your phone to keep you from habitually opening them or even downloading an anti-distraction app to keep you focused.) You’ll be surprised at just how much more time you suddenly have for work and life (and, yes, wine).
Overall, creating a work/life balance is something we’re all working toward. It’s not easy, and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight, but with the right mindset and a good amount of self-discipline, you’ll start to find yourself inching in on that evasive, mysterious, elusive work/life balance.
Hero photo courtesy Aubree Lynn Photography