Today, like every other day, I will shut my computer down at 3pm and go pick my kids up from school. I recognize this is a luxury that not everyone has but it is part of the work-life balance I have created for myself. The deal is, I am in charge of what I want my work-life balance to look like and this is non-negotiable to me. Almost every client I work with comes to me with a problem balancing their time properly to ensure that they get the most out of their work time, exceed their client’s expectations and still have quality personal and family time. It seems that most of us hold ourselves to a standard dictated by other people about what our lives should look like — yet struggle to achieve that beautiful, elusive balance. But here’s the deal, as my clients eventually discover: working to achieve someone else’s goal is never going to get you very far.
Here’s a question I ask my clients: What is work-life balance? Is it a real thing? I ask them this instead of the other way around because I want to know where their head is around this topic before we begin to build a plan to achieve their desired balance. The answer, as far as I am concerned is, “it’s real and if you want it, it’s yours.” What is attainable is designing your own balance. What works for one person may not work for another. Stop holding yourself to standards that don’t fit your life.
Nevertheless, this is a big issue for most people, no matter what industry they are in. Finding that sweet spot where your life feels comfortable and harmonious to you is incredibly important and is the only way to truly achieve the elusive balance you desire. According to a Vickery & Co survey of entrepreneurs, 30% feel as though they have to work 24/7 to be successful.
How in the world can anyone do anything really well if they never have time for themselves or their families? I have seen this pressure turn even the most excited and motivated people into those who hate their lives and jobs. It is simply not sustainable nor is it necessary. If you put in the work on the front end to build boundaries and systems, then test out different approaches and limits, you can completely avoid the need to work all the damn time! Stay focused, work hard and then allow yourself the free time to play hard!
Check back next week as we are focusing on identifying what your personal and professional needs really are.