5 Steps to Finding Balance in Your Day
As solopreneurs, it’s easy to get too focused on our own success and forget to strive for balance. The phrase work smarter, not harder is a very clear indication that we spend too much time working and not enough time in the other areas of our lives. We get so wrapped up in our own success that we forget WHY that success matters in the first place.
Five years ago, on July 4th, my husband and I lost one of our sons. Life “balance” is a concept that has very personal meaning to me.
Finding your way back from a loss like that is not an easy road to travel. However, there was one very significant moment when I had an important Aha.
Because I spent many years striving for a balanced life, I didn’t have any woulda, coulda, shouldas affecting my grief. I knew that I had deliberately and consciously chosen how I spent my time. I didn’t feel like I missed out on any important moments because I was busy “seeking success”.
It was at that moment that I realized I had an opportunity to spread the message and help others have more time for what matters most.
But how DO you create more balance in your day?
1. Strive for Harmony, Not Balance
Balance is a myth. It’s the concept that things are equal at all times. This isn’t reality. However, harmony is the notion that all things work together to create beautiful music.
2. Take Breaks
Being so focused that you only do one thing all day long can be exhausting. This leaves you little time at the end of the day for anything else (like being present for your family). There’s no balance in your day. Look for simple ways to incorporate other areas of your life throughout the day.
- Call a friend for 15 minutes.
- Run some quick errands.
- Plan your weekend.
- Get in some exercise or meditation.
- Eat a healthy snack.
It’s been widely proven that multitasking is a myth. You can’t switch your brain effectively between tasks. However, multipurposing your time can be hugely valuable.
Multipurposing is the concept of getting two or more benefits from a single task. Our to-do list is often just a vague list of goals such as:
- Spend more time with family
- Date night
- Get more clients
- Run errands
What if you could achieve two of your goals with one task?
When my boys were young, I was balancing a growing business with extra-curricular activities. I made it a point to get work done during their practices. We’d listen to, and discuss, podcasts in the car while running errands. I considered this quality time with them.
This was a conscious choice. I had to be aware that quality time didn’t JUST mean sitting passively while watching their games or spending time playing with them. Quality time could be so much more.
4. Let it go!
There are a lot of expectations that we place on ourselves. We aren’t superheroes and no one (else) expects us to do it all.
Take some time each day to carefully choose what to bless and release. It might be the need to send thank you cards to every person you met at that networking event (instead of the 2 or 3 you really connected with). It might be baking cupcakes from scratch rather than picking them up on your way home.
And, for those tasks you can’t release, delegate. Delegation comes in many shapes and sizes. It might include getting the family to help with chores. (Did you know family chore time CAN be fun and count as quality time when done right?) Or it might be hiring a virtual assistant to do some of your business tasks.
What can you release that isn’t truly adding harmony?
5. Go For Better, Not Perfect
In Japanese, Kaizen means “improvement”. But, unlike the English word, it refers to a steady, consistent change for the better over time.
We get wrapped up in this notion that we have to be perfect all the time. If we aren’t we get out the hammer and beat ourselves up about it.
Instead, focus on being a little better than yesterday. What is one small thing you can improve upon? It might be to eat one less Snickerdoodle. Or maybe it’s to make one more follow up call than you did yesterday.
Finding balance in your day is more about how you think. Schedules change. Today you may have a full day of conferences to attend and will have no time for family. And there will be times when you are on a family vacation and you choose to entirely unplug.
Balance is an active process rather than a final destination.
My surviving son will tell me on a regular basis that I did a great job raising our boys. He often tells me that having a Mom who worked from home was both a good and a bad thing. It was good because I was always there when they needed me. It was bad because I was always there!
Virtual A Team is an opportunity for me to help others have more time for what matters most. Delegate some of your work so you can have more balance in your life.
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