A simple analogy to help change the way you look at and maintain balance in life.
Think back to the last time you had work life balance. When was that exactly? Your first job? University? Maybe it happened while you were on extended vacation, telling yourself, “Life should be like this.”
For many, work life balance never happens or when it does, it doesn’t stay very long. We get pulled in 100 different directions. We agree to things even though we don’t want to. We feel guilty for the things we said we’d do but didn’t. It’s frustrating because we want this balance where work is a set number of hours and the rest of the time is “me time,” right?
As you think about your work life balance, is it time to get to the bottom of this?
WORK LIFE BALANCE IS LIKE WALKING A TIGHTROPE
What we can learn from an acrobat on the highwire:
- A ladder helps you get started.
- Only you can get across the wire.
- You take deliberate and small steps.
- You focus on where you’re going, not where you’ve been.
- Distractions don’t help you here.
- Should you fall, there’s a net to catch you (when you plan ahead).
- Some days, your balancing skills are better than others.
- Once you’ve reached the other side, you can smile back at what you’ve achieved.
You’re an acrobat in your life, balancing and juggling priorities. Yet when you walk the tightrope well, all the noise of the circus goes away. I can’t help but think if you grab a net, a ladder and have courage to attempt to walk the rope instead of get distracted in the circus around you, what would be possible?
What is possible?
If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
I used to think work life balance was this definitive state, that we all strive for. And the more I tried to control my work life balance, the more it seemed to not fit the variety within each day. So by letting go of some ideal, or what works for Suzie and Jimmy, I’m more open to adapting to change as it happens. My balance is very personal and only needs to make sense to me. Another piece of this learning is that my most precious times each day are when I first wake up and right before I go sleep. Setting an intention for the day and reflecting at the end of it are like my net (to catch me when off-balanced) and ladder (to prepare to attempt the balance walk again tomorrow).
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JESSICA MANCA is a certified coach, author, entrepreneur and former management consultant. Jessica founded Managing Mindspaces, a professional coaching firm, providing sensible career and life coaching services to professionals making life-changing decisions.
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