In all the years I have been working with innovative executives, business owners and mothers; I am always intrigued to see women reading about and discussing having a balanced work and family life. Balance is this nebulous golden ring working mothers are always reaching for. As a matter of fact, the more I hear people speaking about work life balance, I am amazed at just how many people believe in this concept even though they rarely get there or know people who have.
Well, I am here to tell you: Balance is bunk. The belief you can achieve balance and feel good about your life couldn’t be further from the truth!
It breaks my heart, but most of these folks are needlessly headed for disaster. And the worst part is: it just doesn’t have to happen!
If you would like to avoid their fate (and I know you do!), consider this: the concept of balance is the biggest catastrophe involving how you manage and think about your time.
What image do you get when you think about balance: a scale, a balance beam, a tight rope? Balance has the imagery of walking the straight and narrow path, tipping in one direction or another, always holding tight control.
What happens when you are out of balance? Can you see how problematic this could be? If you tip too far in one direction, you may fall off all together! I have to catch my breath even thinking about this.
The metaphor of balance, although it has good intentions, leads to stress in the everyday decision making processes. Forces you can and can’t see are always pulling at you and you have to pay attention to all of them to stay along the centered path.
There is an easier way. Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change. The solution is simple. Focus on creating ease and flow in all areas of your life. Aim for harmony. Imagine a beautiful piece of music. There are many notes, many instruments and they all fit together and complement each other even though they are different.
The type of music you are playing doesn’t even matter. Jazz, classical, Rock, Country, R & B etc. A good piece of music works with harmony. Can you feel the ease thinking about your life as a beautiful harmonious composition vs. balancing on the scales of your life? When I gave up the balance plan, I even stopped going on the bathroom scale…too much stress.
So stop tipping your scales and start creating your beautiful music. Ask yourself these few crucial questions.
• Can I see an easier way to handle this situation?
• What can I do to create more harmony in my life?
• How do my choices resonate with my goals and values?
No matter how long you have been paying attention to schedules, managing projects at work and at home, chances are you are missing this crucial focus. The good news: you can ask yourself these simple questions that I have outlined. You can end these stressful time, balance and management beliefs and stop leaving your valuable time, your energy and your money on the table.
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