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!!