Life: A Balancing Act

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Work, fam­i­ly, friends, busi­ness, fun, romance, our dai­ly tasks, self care, etc. How does this all get tak­en care of? How does it all get bal­anced? Truth?? I have almost no idea. I do how­ev­er have some thoughts to share, that you might real­ly like.

I’m writ­ing this on the plane from Den­ver to Los Ange­les, the flight I typ­i­cal­ly take 3 – 4 times a year to vis­it my fam­i­ly in Col­orado. Birth­days, wed­dings, hol­i­days, I do my best to make as many as pos­si­ble. And although I LOVE see­ing my fam­i­ly, and tru­ly wish I saw them more often, in order to fly out to Col­orado sev­er­al times a year, I “leave behind” my busi­ness, my shows, record­ing my album, my friends, and my usu­al self-care rou­tine. I believe it’s worth it. There is noth­ing more impor­tant to me than my fam­i­ly, but it most def­i­nite­ly brings into ques­tion my bal­ance.

Whether you spend a lot of time trav­el­ing, or you are at home, pur­su­ing your dream, work­ing on your busi­ness, or even work­ing your job, how do all of your pri­or­i­ties get fit into our mod­ern-day busy lives? Let’s start with some “easy” ones, and work our way through some pos­si­bil­i­ties.

Friends. What I’ve found most use­ful with most things in life, but cer­tain­ly with my friend­ships, is to be ful­ly present with them when I’m with them, and keep in touch periph­er­al­ly through text, phone, or even social media when I can’t see them in per­son. Here’s what I mean, when I’m at din­ner, or cof­fee, or at a friend’s house, I am NOT on my cell phone, or social media. I am WITH my friends. Ful­ly engaged, soak­ing up and giv­ing back all the con­nec­tion, con­ver­sa­tion and love that I can muster in those moments. This way, our time togeth­er is high-qual­i­ty time, and even if I only get to see my friends once a week, once a month…or even once a year, our time togeth­er is ful­fill­ing.

Self-Care. When you have a busy life, or are trav­el­ling, it seems that the first thing for a lot of peo­ple to let go of is our self-care. This is a TOUGH one. I get it. This is often the first thing I let go of too. It’s some­times eas­i­er to keep our com­mit­ments to our jobs, busi­ness­es, fam­i­ly and friends, than to our­selves. I urge you (and me) to do your best to find a self-care rou­tine that is DO-ABLE in MOST sce­nar­ios. Fig­ure out what that means to you. It might be a spe­cif­ic eat­ing strat­e­gy, bed-time, exer­cise, med­i­ta­tion, or even qui­et time that ensures your bat­tery is charged. I know that when my self-care fal­ters, every­thing else in my life just feels hard­er. Then, regard­less of what else is going on, put your­self first (as much as pos­si­ble). Put your own oxy­gen mask on first, before help­ing oth­ers. (Yep…still on the plane.)

Busi­ness. If you own a busi­ness, do your best to “sys­tem­ize” and put as much of your busi­ness on auto-pilot as pos­si­ble. Espe­cial­ly when trav­el­ling, or dur­ing big life events. Remem­ber to del­e­gate any tasks that aren’t in your core strengths, or that you are required for. If you can’t take time away from your busi­ness to trav­el, or spend time with the peo­ple you love, you prob­a­bly own a “job”, not a busi­ness. Addi­tion­al­ly, in my opin­ion, if you are so chained to your busi­ness, that you can’t take time away, it’s pos­si­ble you might be bet­ter off just get­ting a job. At least jobs have ben­e­fits, and vaca­tion time.

Fam­i­ly. This might be your spouse, your kids, your sib­lings, your par­ents, your sig­nif­i­cant oth­er, etc. If you want a “healthy” fam­i­ly, your fam­i­ly requires your time and your ener­gy. Sim­i­lar to your friends, I encour­age you to be as present with your fam­i­ly as much of the time as pos­si­ble. Now, I get it, if you are liv­ing with some­one, there will be times that you are togeth­er, and on your phone, or on the inter­net, etc. That said, be sure that qual­i­ty-time is set aside. I encour­age you to not fall vic­tim to periph­er­al time like watch­ing TV, or doing work, become the “only” time you spend togeth­er. Find ways like meals at the table, or evening chats to share your day, and con­nect inti­mate­ly with your fam­i­ly as much as pos­si­ble. If you spend 8 – 12 hours a day work­ing (as many of us do) find a way to spend time every day tru­ly con­nect­ing with your fam­i­ly.

Fun. Find time for fun. Peri­od. This comes in many dif­fer­ent pack­ages for many dif­fer­ent peo­ple, but seri­ous­ly friends, if you’re not tak­ing time to tru­ly PLAY and have some FUN (that’s Fun with a cap­i­tal “F” with no oth­er rea­son than hav­ing fun) what is the point of all the oth­er stuff you’re work­ing so hard at?? Once a day, once a week, once a month, whatever…go have some “no ulte­ri­or motive” fun!

Rela­tion­ships. I’m talk­ing about the roman­tic ones now. Sin­gle or com­mit­ted, here is yet anoth­er piece of the puz­zle that requires focus, ener­gy and time. If you’re cur­rent­ly in a rela­tion­ship, you might con­sid­er a stand­ing date night, or a mutu­al play day that is just yours alone. If you’re sin­gle, then the time spent on this is find­ing that spe­cial some­one. I would sug­gest deter­min­ing how impor­tant this is to you at this time, and putting forth time and effort accord­ing­ly. Some peo­ple are per­fect­ly hap­py in life with­out “roman­tic” love. If that’s you, great! If not, and if you are sin­gle, find­ing love can indeed become anoth­er “task” on your life list. If it’s impor­tant to you, don’t leave it out of the mix.

Life “Stuff”. These are the dai­ly or week­ly tasks that most human beings have. Con­sol­i­date, and del­e­gate. If you have errands or tasks that can be del­e­gat­ed, by all means, do that! Do you real­ly need to clean your own house, wash your own car and do your own tax­es? I’m going to sug­gest that you don’t. Find the tasks that are eas­i­ly del­e­gat­ed to oth­ers, and for good­ness sake, del­e­gate them. This frees up more of your time to spend on your oth­er 1,007 pri­or­i­ties. If there are tasks that are best done by you, con­sol­i­date. Run all your errands just once a week, or per­haps have a spe­cif­ic time every day that you work on paper­work, or pay bills. Bot­tom line, del­e­gate and con­sol­i­date as much as pos­si­ble. It’s some­times the lit­tle life “stuff” that drains our time more than any­thing else.

I think the key to all of this is focus. Doing the “thing” we’re doing with so much pres­ence of mind that we don’t miss it. I think it also lies in find­ing secret moments to do things, when pos­si­ble. My cur­rent exam­ple is writ­ing on air­planes. I wrote almost my entire book, “Jobs to Jam­mies” from an air­plane. There’s real­ly “noth­ing” else I can do from the air, so I love to get some writ­ing done. (Like the blog you are cur­rent­ly read­ing.) Like I said sev­er­al para­graphs before, I hon­est­ly don’t have the “answer” on this one. I get super caught up in my busi­ness and my work, and real­ize I haven’t spent time with my friends for weeks at a time. I get caught up in big projects or stress­ful fam­i­ly events, and I decide that tak­ing care of myself can wait. I think that out­side of extreme cir­cum­stances, this doesn’t serve us. I believe it IS pos­si­ble to live a bal­anced life where work, fam­i­ly, friends, fun, rela­tion­ships, and tak­ing care of our­selves co-exist with joy and grace. We might vis­it imbal­ance, but let’s do our best to live in bal­ance.

To learn more about the busi­ness vehi­cles that help me stay bal­anced, please vis­it: http://AmpUpMyBiz.com. To get on the list for my lat­est book, vis­it: JobsToJammies.com.

Please com­ment below, I would love to hear YOUR thoughts and tips on this!!