Is there such a thing a work life balance? Does balance mean the “scales” are always even? Work life balance can be seen as always a work in progress, arms of the scale going up and down in small increments, but mainly toward the middle where balance occurs. In pilates, balance occurs when you are moving many parts in very small ways to keep the momentum of balance in place. That is really what our lives appear to be when we are balancing home, work, relationships, wellness, spirituality and community.
How do we get this momentum of balance together?
Work life balance comes together when you are strategic about your goals and your plan. Know what your goal of the balance is. It can be many different aspects of your life, but not every aspect. It could be to be healthier, “me” time, career advancement, contributing to the community, deeper relationships or peace of mind. Choose three areas you can positively change to add to your balance. Then think through your elements to keep them in balance.
Then here are my six elements of balance.
- You can do it all, not all at once. Again, it comes down to choices.
- Put in the big rocks first. do the most important first in your day.
- Plan your work and work your plan. Have great tools like a planner and task list, have a weekly meeting with yourself and keep a task list for every day to keep focused.
- Build a team using everyone’s strengths. Learn to delegate waht you don’t do well.
- Power periods and productivity. Be in the moment, set up power periods in your day for productivity and be brutal about disruptions.
- Put your own oxygen mask on first. Have time in every week to rejuvenate and take care of your health in exercising, relationships, proper sleep and good eating habits.
Decide on actions that fulfill these elements and position them in your calendar as “sacred” and unchangeable. You have established a boundary for the really important aspects of your balance, and have flexibility on the rest. You have to know that your goal is and aim at this with specific actions, not generalities. Having specific times these actions are set, you can now work around them. It comes down to plan your work, and work your plan!
Tough to do? Knowing what is most important to me, I find really makes the difference. If being a great mom is most important, drill down and decide what 3 actions show this. If being top in your field is most important, you must decide what 3 things establish this criteria for you. If it is both, let’s create a balance between considering the actions. I think of it as a road map, getting you to where you want to be.
Work life balance for me means a full schedule of clients, time with my grand kids, time to exercise and time with my husband. I work with clients in blocks of time throughout the week, including Saturday. On Friday is my “Gigi” day where I pick up my grand daughter from school. Each week I schedule pilates, and then walk with a friend 3 times a week on a flexible schedule. Dinner time each night is my time together with my husband, but it can happen anytime between 6 and 8 pm. Everything else I work around these 3 aspects of what I consider the most important parts of my week. I see clients around the schedule, accomplish tasks at home including paper work, and take personal care with a good bedtime and focus on healthy eating.
Find your work life balance with this equation and share with us what made the difference for you!