Remember when technology swept us away with inventions that had the promise of greater efficiency, allowing us to get more work done resulting in more leisure time? In reality, Facebook, Twitter, social media, IPhones, Ipads, Blackberries…they all have us connected 24/7, and yet we’re actually working longer and harder than ever.
Welcome to the era of ‘work life’ balance. The kind that pre-supposes a set of scales on which your personal life sits on one side, while on the other side sits your career. Both in beautiful, even proportion. Now here’s the catch. When your career is doing really well, by the laws of both logic and gravity, the scales are going to shift. Your personal life is going to tip over. Conversely, when your personal life is soaring, again the scales must tip, and your career must suffer.
Because we cannot give 100% of our attention to 100% of everything going on in our lives, 100% of the time. One area is always going to be better than another at any given point in time.
I personally believe work life balance is a myth. It doesn’t exist. It cannot exist. Here’s why. You are running a business, not a hobby. The goal is to make money. You are going to have to spend more time nurturing and growing your business. Even in the constraints of a 9-5 job there is no balance. You will always spend more time at work than at home with your family.
You started your business for lifestyle reasons, right? To have more time with your family. Well, you may well be working from home, but what about your husband and children? Are they home with you, or where they need to be – at work and school? Got youngsters at home with you? No problem! Now your business gets to suffer because you have a screaming kid who won’t watch Play School while you have an important client to close, or email to send, or phone call to make. You also get the added bonus of having to meet deadlines while being mummy and throwing a watchful eye on your child to make sure he/she is where they are supposed to be. What about emails? Do you sneak them out in the early morning hours before the kids are awake and at nights when the family is in bed?
Whoa! This isn’t what you signed up for. This isn’t balance. This is stress.
What if you approached it all as proportion and integration. Accepting there are times you will have to say ‘no’ to the business, and times you will have to say ‘no’ to family. Because isn’t that the reality of running a business?
What if you commit to yourself as much as your business – and stand firm on this. Plan your life. Block out time for business, and time for family, while allowing for flexibility. Be sure to include time for exercise, self education, friends, relaxing.
Yoga at 7.30? Everything stops and you go to yoga at 7.30.
If you still find yourself running around trying to do all and be all to everyone, it may be time to hire a VA (virtual assistant), and it’s far more affordable than you think.
The fact is that you CAN have it all, but it will never be in direct proportion to one another. There is no balance, only YOU doing the best you can, to allocate your time and efforts to the most important decisions of the moment.
‘Sally Glenn is a writer, coach and founder of Done For You Coaching Content, a service for coaches which provides done-for-you newsletters, e-courses, coaching programs and transcription services. You can contact Sally at email@example.com‘. www.doneforyoucoachingcontent.com