Balance is one of the hardest things to achieve in life, yet it’s one of the essential skills to have if you want to succeed in life and business. Finding the right balance between work and play, eating and exercising, spending, and investing is an act that people learn over time. And sometimes, when you think you have mastered this art, something comes along that throws you off completely or changes the game’s rules. For instance, Work-life balance is a term that held a particular meaning over the years until the pandemic hit and utterly re-defined it.
Finding the path between extremes is a refined skill mastered over time. So how do you find and keep your balance in a constantly changing environment? Here are four tips to get you started.
Decide on what matters most to you in life and prioritize it.
The starting point to living a balanced life is knowing what matters most to you and prioritizing that on your to-do list. If you value family, then you know you can’t spend your entire day at work. If you want to pass on wealth to your next generation, then you know you shouldn’t spend it all but think about investing some. In other words, get your priorities in order, and once you do, you are off to a great start.
Analyze the tradeoffs and effects.
Once you have identified your priorities, think about the tradeoffs. You only have some time in a day or even in life, so you can’t do it all. Make a list of what you must get done and weigh the options of what you are leaving out. This list should be all-encompassing — it should cover every area of your life: career, family, health, spirituality, fun, etc. Something has to give for another; you can’t have it all in life.
Find options to support your choices.
Let’s say you have a business meeting and a PTA in school simultaneously. What gives? Which would you give up for the other, and what is the effect of that decision? You can’t just say; I’m going to my kid’s school for PTA since family is my priority and drop the ball at work or vice versa. It would help if you thought win-win. Can I reschedule the meeting or have a virtual PTA session? Thanks to technology, we now have options to be more flexible with timing and do more. It’s all about making the best choices with the options you have so you have a win-win.
Go with the flow.
They say, “Timing is everything.” Your priorities change with time and the phase you are in life. So don’t despair. Some of those tradeoffs become less stressful as you grow through the stages of life. As an entry-level Marketer, you may not be able to delegate, but as you rise through the ranks, that option becomes more available. As a stay-at-home mom with toddlers, you may not be able to finish writing that book, but as the kids leave for college, your empty nest becomes a haven for creativity. Stay open to life’s changing seasons and maximize the opportunities it presents.
The act of balancing in life is like juggling. While you may have many balls in the air, you only need to throw one at a time. Try not to juggle too many balls all at once. Pick up your priorities for the phase you are in. Review the tradeoffs you have to make and their effects — walk through your options and leverage technology where you can to increase your flexibility. Make the best of the season of life you are in. If you do this, you increase your chances of relaxing to enjoy a more balanced life and all the joys it has to offer.