Let’s cut right to it: Work-Life Balance is a myth. I don’t know to whom we can attribute this idea that our professional and personal lives can exist and thrive in perfect harmony, but really wish they’d kept that little lie-nugget to themselves.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to aspire to have harmony in your life, but it’s insane to believe that you can achieve that by being fully present for both work and everything else at the same time. It’s a game of give-and-take. There are times when work is more important, just like there are times when your family, friends, self-care is more important, but I’ve never met a human being who’s found the perfect balance and has made it as predictable as the sunrise.
To me, the goal isn’t to be balanced, the goal is to be centered. By centered, I mean that you have peace within yourself, which allows you to stay calm and focused no matter what happens around you.
The most important habit to develop is to prioritize your health, both physical and mental. We women especially have a tendency to put others before ourselves. We’re nurturers and we genuinely find peace and purpose in taking care of the people we love most. It’s a beautiful thing, but our health and well-being should be our number one priority. We can’t properly take care of anyone if we aren’t first taking care of ourselves. Make sure you get enough sleep, stay hydrated, exercise and make mostly healthy food choices (cookies and ice cream are sometimes a necessity. Don’t argue with me).
Establish a Routine
As an entrepreneur, your life can be pretty unpredictable. There may be times when you spend entire days focused on one project, and other seasons when you work on several different tasks in one day. Add into that the unpredictability of parenthood and you may very well have a recipe for disaster. Set yourself up for success by establishing a routine to start your day. For me, strong coffee, journaling, prayer and exercise help me to feel peaceful, centered and focused, ready to take on whatever the day brings my way. Find what works for you and make it a priority every morning.
Plan Your Schedule Weekly
Even though your schedule will vary from week to week, it’s important to have a structure and know which tasks you’ll take care of on which days. This will minimize those times when you’re looking at your to-do list and feeling overwhelmed because you don’t even know where to begin. Sit down on Sunday nights and plan the week ahead. Decide which tasks are a priority for the week, go through your calendar and carve out a day and time when you’ll work on them. Keep it to a maximum of 3 major tasks each day (remember that you still have to eat, sleep, and spend time with other humans).
The idea that our work life and personal life can exist in perfect balance is exactly that: an idea. Aiming to be centered means that you won’t be knocked off balance when things around you get chaotic. Prioritizing yourself and your inner harmony will help make sure that everything else around you runs smoothly.