The Myth of Work-Life BalanceIt's not what you think it is ...
Many entrepreneurs, women in particular, have intertwined work and life to the point they are unable to be separated. The tattered and frayed edges of their daily efforts to build a business continually work their way into their daily lives.
Separation of work and life is not essential, in fact it is downright challenging if you are doing that most difficult and rewarding job of all … starting your own business. Young mothers have little spare time with days already jam-packed with caring for toddlers or fulfilling the family taxi service for the myriad after-school activities of young students.
Then there are the bold individuals who work the 8-hour day, stop at the grocery store on the way home, prepare a family meal, clean up the kitchen, start some laundry, herd children from dinner to baths to bed and then take their post at a computer to write a blog, design a web site or start an email campaign.
How can work be separated from life when you have a dream? When you know what you want. When you are determined to blaze a trail all the way to the summit of that mountain named Success!
Whether you are a newly hatched or an experienced entrepreneur, you know that once you made the commitment to yourself to be your own boss, you were never going back! It isn’t easy blazing that trail any more than it is easy to raise a healthy, happy family.
There are lots of suggestions you could apply to your daily routine, especially if you have school-age children. But organization training and time saving tips are for another time. Right now, we are addressing you, your business and your life as these intermingle.
If you cope well with the craziness of multiple daily activities, all the while maintaining a happy family life, a comfortable home and a thriving business, that’s both awe-inspiring and amazing. We’d like to include your suggestions for inclusion in future mentoring! However, if you feel things are out of control – your family life, your business, or both – then it is time to figure out what needs your attention.
Most often it is a matter of simply recognizing something is amiss. Not enough time with your children or spouse? No “me” time? Totally scattered with your business projects? These are the most frequent concerns when an entrepreneur experiences overwhelm. What to do? First – sit down, take a deep breath, slowly exhale. Alright, good start! A deep breath can make an amazing difference and help clear the mind … try another one.
If you’ve been in denial that things were out of balance or you’ve been overwhelmed, this is when you begin turning things around.
A deep breath can make an amazing difference and help clear the mind … try another one.
1. Make a list – short is good, but no more than 10 items on it – of things you TRULY believe need to change. The list needs to include you, your family, and your business. This is all about work-life balance.
i. For You – take some personal time daily for just you. Reading, yoga, taking a walk, a ½ hour nap when your toddler is napping. You decide.
ii. For Your Family – identify some things you feel guilty you want to correct. More healthy meals, a family outing every week, reading to your children at bedtime. You know what is needed.
iii. For Your Business – get organized, make a to-do list, start a project, stop spinning your wheels, find some help. Something that will make you more productive and reduce stress
2. Next – choose ONE in each category from your list you plan to accomplish over the next week.
3. What does your heart tell you? Listen to it – you’ll make the right choices.
4. Now take action.
This may not be work-life balance in the way it’s been taught for umpteen years, but it will be better than what’s been stressing you or causing you guilt. You will be happier and more relaxed. Your family will appreciate the time you give them. Your business will make some progress.
It’s all good.