Balance. It means different things to different people. Most people think it`s elusive. Or don`t know what it really feels like to them, so they are using someone else`s definition and it`s just not working for them.
And guess what – then they can`t figure out how to get it. That`s what our podcast is about ` getting you on the track to figure out what life balance means for YOU.
If you’d prefer to read, read on.
Speaking of definitions, here are two we found:
- A state of equilibrium.
- mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior, judgment
Carol: I like the last definition. Too often, I feel that work/life balance is some kind of `cop out`. An excuse to go home early. A reason, not widely accepted by many employers, to cut back on hours`&and therefore your value to the company. Oh, she wants `balance`. Must be one of those `mothers.`
Sue: I have trouble with any of these definitions, because they are fairly black and white and are someone else`s definition. It`s like when you go to the doctor, he or she will say: “You`re the one living in your body, so you need to tell me what that feels like.”
What I know about balance: It`s a dance of order and chaos. It`s personal, how much you can handle. It CHANGES, from chapter to chapter in life. It’s fluid, fragile and needs constant work. Because things can change. Just like that.
5 Suggestions on Where to Start
- Tip #1: Have you thought recently about what do you stand for ? What you value most? Is it Service? Achievement? Creativity? Because how do you know if you`re in balance, if you don`t know what`s important, those things you want to be sure you are acting out each day?
- Tip #2: Which aspect of your life feels out of balance? Financial, spiritual, main relationship, social friendships, and so forth. Where are you feeling most and least like you`re living the life you want to be living? That will help you with where to start.
- Tip #3: How does it feel when you are in balance? On your game? Feeling great about how your life is moving along? On your meaning or purpose? Describe it. Tell the story. Make it real. Because if you don`t know where you`re headed, you won`t get there anytime soon.
- Tip #4 WORK: Know your boundaries. Are you a person who likes to leave work early, tend to your kids, then work a bit more at home once they`ve gone to bed? Is that OK with you and your partner? Or, are you a person who prefers to `leave work at work?` What are your expectations, and do they align with those of your employer? The message here: When your values and expectations fly in the face of your work responsibilities and associated expectations, it`s time to address this.
- Tip #5 HOME: Household tasks versus work tasks: how do you get it all done without live-in help? First, take a look at how you are spending your days off. Is Saturday Mount Washmore day? Do you scowl at the kids because they want to go play when there is so much work to do at home? How dare they frolic when chores are going undone! Try breaking down the chores, a little every day. Try rotating them. Have the kids develop charts, and build their own reward systems. They`ll work extra hard for a reward of their own making.
10 Signs You May Want to Pay Attention to Balance (When do you know you are `out of balance?”)
- When you have free time, you think about catching up on work.
- When you have free space, you do some chores.
- Thinking about doing work or chores causes you to turn on the TV and reach for the Haagan Daas.
- You`re on Facebook too much and you KNOW it.
- You cannot get motivated to work. You can`t even find your materials for your home based business since your household is in state of chaos.
- You want to exercise, but cannot seem to get into that habit. It`s a dream, a wish.
- People ask about your hobbies and you give them a blank stare. Your dinners out with friends are about their hobbies and your work ` or you`re quiet.
- You`re not paying as much attention to those you live with and love.
- You`re not as proactive as you know you can be with your clients.
- You miss dates, miss appointments, forget things more easily.
If you feel any of the above are true, recognition is the first step. Sometimes, it`s AS IMPORTANT as any action you might take, and actually it might be all that is needed. Try adding a little fun in, a bit at a time. If It`s clutter, try tackling the beast 15 minutes at a time, and give yourself little rewards along the way. If it`s lack of outside interests, try something you have `always wanted to` do, but, have kept making up excuses as to why `not` right now.
Sometimes it`s difficult to do on your own. Find a friend who can pull you out of work. I (Sue) have a photo shoot several weekend mornings now, not because I organized it or could do it on my own. It`s happened because I mentioned wanting more practice and two of my friends stepped up and organized us!
We`d love your feedback. If you have a question you`d like answered, please email us at email@example.com
Or contact us through our blogs and websites:
Sue`s is www.OrganizeForAFreshStart.com
Carol`s is http://www.efficientproductivity.com/
If you found our advice valuable, please consider sharing our podcast or blog with colleagues and friends. Thanks so much and GOODBYE until next time!
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