There is no such thing as work life balance. That news will either be a disappointment or a great relief to the millions of us who’ve been chasing it for most of our adult lives.
Why do I say so? Well, that’s simple. A part can never be equal to the whole – unless of course there is only one part. And in the case of life, there are many, many parts. Our family and friends, our faith, our philanthropy, and our fun are all important parts of our life. So the real question we have to ask ourselves is not how do I balance the parts, but how do I become a balanced person?
We’re all busy. Doesn’t matter if we’re a mom-in-charge, entrepreneur, student, corporate executive, professional, or a street sweeper. It seems we’ve all got more to do than there are minutes in the day. As much as I believe in the power of saying no, there are times when simply cutting things out of our schedule isn’t that simple.
So instead I offer 3 tips for tipping the scale in favor of our sanity.
First, Live according to our priorities. Investing our time in what’s most important to us is the surest way to be in balance with our being. It’s probably also the hardest and yet most important principle for our lives. Let me share a story that may help.
While working at the American Heart Association I had the opportunity to apply for a Vice President position. I was in my early 30’s, ambitious, and had grown fairly rapidly in my career. I was also a single mom who traveled a lot. When it was time to submit my paperwork, I decided not to apply. Leadership was so shocked – I was a favorite for the job. But you see, I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t give American Heart any more of my time. My priority was my son, and we had sacrificed enough of our time together already. So I let this opportunity pass by and made peace with staying right where I was and being happy about it.
Now I know this may rub many who are aggressively pursuing a career. We believe jobs should accommodate our dynamic family situations. That having children, and being an involved mom or dad, shouldn’t stop us from pursuing our career aspirations. Well, that is true. Becoming a parent doesn’t suddenly make you unqualified, uncommitted, or illiterate. You are still the same smart, dynamic, sassy woman you were before you gave birth.
But, I didn’t make the decision because I couldn’t do it. I made a choice about what I wanted to do. I decided how much of my time I wanted to invest where. Yes, I could have taken the Vice President position and my son would likely have turned out just fine. But I wanted to go to his football games, know his friends, attend school functions and have a career I enjoyed. Those were my priorities, and because I chose what was right for me I was balanced.
Second, Establish some boundaries. I don’t take calls before 8am. It’s not because I’m asleep. It’s because I don’t want to talk to you. I love you, but between 6-8am I am loving on me. That’s when I read, write, pray and meditate. I need those moments to start my day off calm and centered.
Listen, there’s a party going on in my head most of the time. Ideas zing around like it’s the Grand Prix. If I don’t take a few moments each day to capture my early morning thoughts I have a hard time focusing for the rest of the day. It’s just the way I’m wired and I don’t bother trying to fight it. Instead, I protect myself by allowing me to prioritize me for a few precious moments each day.
You are important. You deserve your own love. You are worthy of your own time. Give yourself what you need to be successful by making a date with you. Protect that time like you would your most precious asset, for indeed your sanity is just that.
Finally, Embrace a spirit of abundance. Our pursuit of success will sometime lead us to believe that every opportunity is the only opportunity. But in reality, we know that’s not true. Life is full of possibilities. We don’t have to be afraid to make decisions based on our priorities because we fear the good will never come around again. Every season of life offers a cornucopia of opportunities. And the Universe has more than enough to sustain us. Most important, God has a plan for our lives and it is good. What you have, and who you are, is more than enough.
Living according to our priorities helps us make peace with the fact that every area of our lives will not get equal time. But because we’re choosing where we want to invest our time and where we’re willing to sacrifice, we stay in balance.
And for those of us still on a guilt trip about how much time we did or do spend with our family – let it go. Even if we spent every waking minute of the day with those we love it would never be enough. Life only lasts for a little while. Do the best you can, while you can, and give God the rest.
Be happy, be healthy and be in balance. You can do it!
Loving on Me as I Love You! ❤
Katrina McGhee is the Founder and CEO of LovingonMe.com, an inspirational blog powered by a global tribe of women who dare to defy the status quo. As a writer, speaker and entrepreneur her mission is simple – to inspire women to passionately love themselves as God made them, and then share that love as He commands. She's a mom, adventurer and all around Do Good Girl who supports many causes affecting women and children. You can connect with her on Twitter at @kdmcghee or @iamlovingonme.
3 Tips was originally posted on LovingonMe.com – http://lovingonme.com/2013/04/02/3-tips-for-tipping-the-scale-in-favor-of-your-sanity/
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