Is Life Balance A Myth?

Life BalanceSince starting my own business I have been struggling with finding that ever elusive life balance.  I have family responsibilities, a full-time job, and my business.  My business has been steadily growing, but my kids are growing even faster!  It is important to me to spend as much time as possible with them.  I eventually want to replace the income from my job with my business – eventually sounds so far away.  I want to accomplish that soon!

So I have been trying to figure out how to make it all work.  I am sure most moms face a similar dilemma! I have started doing a few things that have helped.  I am still tweaking and adjusting the process, but what I am doing is helping. I am sharing it with you as a starting place for you to try to fit everything in and find your life balance.

Monthly Goals

I sit down and figure out what I need to accomplish each month. This seems to work best at the end of the previous month.  First I look at what I accomplished in the past month.  This is very important!  You need to see what you have done and celebrate it!  So many of us forget this part.  Acknowledging and celebrating successes encourage and motivate you to keep going! “Yes, I am actually getting somewhere!

Now list out the most important things you need to accomplish this month.  Don’t list too many or you will just overwhelm yourself!  Three to five is a good number, depending on how big of a task each one is.  Then list out everything you need to get those things done — resources, training, supplies, etc.  You want to make sure you know what you need to do and have everything ready so you can “git ‘er done!”

Weekly Goals & Schedule

Once you know what you need to do this month, sit down and schedule out your week.  Do this every week.  I like to do this on Sunday evening.  Look at your monthly tasks and map out time that you will work on each one.  The trick here is to not schedule too much time for your business at the expense of your life.  Remember you have to leave time for your family.  This is where I struggle.  I know I have lots to get done to get my business where I need it to be.  After all I want to replace the income from my job – soon!  But I also want to spend time with my family.

I discovered that spending even an hour or two a day on my business works.  Some days are going to require more time depending on the task.  The important thing is to make sure that the 1-2 hours is dedicated time.  Go somewhere so you won’t be disturbed so you can concentrate on what you are doing – distraction free.  Let your family know your schedule.  If they know that you will be working for an hour or two and after that they will have your undivided attention, they usually will respect that because they know what’s going on.

Now stick to your schedule!  This is very important!

I have found that even small chunks of dedicated time gets me so much further than hours of interrupted time.  It is also less frustrating and stressful.  Think about times you have been trying to work on something and your kids ask you for something.  Or the phone rings.  Or any number of other distractions.  If you can eliminate those for even a short amount of time, you will be so much further ahead!  And, you can then spend quality time with your family afterwards without constantly thinking that you need to get back to working on your business.  Makes it so much more enjoyable!  You feel better and your family notices that you are actually present with them.  Everyone benefits!

Is Life Balance a Myth?

That is still up in the air. Some say it’s possible, and some say it’s not.  It is really an individual thing.  So, give this method a try!  With a little planning and scheduling, you can get closer to having life balance – and feel a little less stress too!

Comments

  1. Great article. Years ago I began my business on my kitchen table. I had two kids a husband, dog etc. It was hard work and I had to be so disciplined. Despite all my organisation, I knew that setting up a business did require some sacrifice and inevitably that affected family life at times. Looking back, I dont regret it and I have a lifestyle now I would not have had if I hadnt worked. Somehow, we get through it. Your article reminded me so much of what it was like for me at the beginning.
    Keep going.
    Lynda

  2. That is a good question, Carol.

    It depends on so many variables. Planning and scheduling; being well organised works for some, while others relish flying by the seat of their pants.
    Sometimes balance is the best choice earlier in life; later on, it might be a bit of a chore if people want to be more out-going and a little selfish. 🙂

    Some may even say that an occasional imbalance in life, might eventually lead to the right balance. I suppose a sense of awareness about our life situations will help us to decide what kind of balance is appropriate, as well as when and how that balance should be struck.

    Maybe the term ‘balance’ connotes a different reality to some people . Maybe it is not all that it is made out to be … it all depends.
    Kathy Gabriel recently posted…FOLLOW UP TO …My Profile

  3. Balance and what feels balanced is so subjective that sometimes I have a hard time knowing what that even means. Some days my tasks feel huge and heavy while other days the same tasks feel light and easy. Its so hard to know. And until I have that down pat I have a really hard time planning. Well, not so much the planning but the sticking to it. I want it badly enough that that should be the easy part right??? I think the idea of balance itself is so nice and comforting that I have to hang on to that as a lovely feeling idea no matter what.
    Kate Lindsay recently posted…Make a Change and Have it StickMy Profile

  4. Carol, I am hugely aware of how easy it is to let your life get way out of balance! Especially when you are in the building stages of a business!

    Finding the right planning tool is so important to my stick-with-it-ness… and now that I am focused on finding a bit more balance, I seem to be having a bit more success!!

    Good reminder for all of us!
    Agnes Knowles recently posted…Retirement Dreams Reality CheckMy Profile

  5. Hi Carol,

    Great thought-provoking post!

    Balance comes up a lot when I’m interviewing people. Nearly every candidate tells me they’re looking for work/life balance. When I ask them to define it for me, the variety of responses floor me.

    For me, it’s a moving target. It means shifting activities to get whatever I’ve been missing lately. Whatever balance means to me this week probably won’t be true for me next week.
    Susan recently posted…It’s Never Too LateMy Profile

  6. Fascinating, Carol! To bring order into multi-tasking is not easy to do. I think life balance is always a work in progress. I sense that life is always balanced – sometimes it’s in harmony, and at other times, not.

  7. Hey, Carol.
    I would agree with Kathy’s comment when she said it really depends upon the type of person they are. I work with a few individuals whom tend to do things spontaneously and still get a great deal accomplished while others need practically every hour of their life scheduled in a calandar. Whatever gets the job done I say :o)

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