Recently I was asked 'how do you balance life and work?'. This is a question I think a lot of us ask. And I think it is based around the belief that we must do it all – have the career, the partner, the house, the kids, the business, the car, the holidays etc and maintain a healthy life.
Why is it important to you to be doing ALL of these things? What are you trying to achieve? Happiness? Success? Let me tell you, all you have is now, right now, this present moment. If you don't believe me listen to Eckhart Tolle. Happiness isn't a goal - 'if I get this job I'll be happy' is a thought that is setting you up for disappointment because every job has some part to it that we won't like. Or perhaps you think if 'I have a boyfriend/girlfriend, partner, husband/wife I'll be happy' and again that's not a guarantee. Happiness comes from being grateful for what you HAVE not from what you think you want. Appreciate this moment, what you have right now. You don't have to have it all to be happy.
How do we balance what we do have? For a start work is a part of life, to view work and life separately is to put them at odds with each other. The question is more like this: How do you build a business, a career, have a family, see friends, spend time with your husband, get fit and still have energy? First let me say stop the glorification of busy! And family comes first. You've probably heard this before; you're not going to get to the end of your life and think 'I wish I'd spent more time at work' no, you're going to be saying 'I wish I spent more time with my kids' or partner or your significant other.
I don't believe there can be a true balance because life ebbs and flows, sometimes work requires more of you and sometimes your family requires more of you. If in doubt which one you should choose, always choose family. Often we can tell ourselves that working all hours is providing for our family, but if providing for your family is at the expense of actually seeing them perhaps you need to re-evaluate what provision they really need. When it comes to managing your life it is all about priorities, what is important to you? What type of life do you want? Who are you becoming? Because at the end of the day you will make time for the things that are important.
I also would like to say – don't beat your self up! Life is challenging and it isn't always easy to make time for things. But we all make time for things that are important to us. Be intentional about how you live your life. Carve out those 5-10 minutes where you can sit down and think about how you want to approach life. Read The Slight Edge, trust me it will make a difference.