Get a Better Work-Life Balance Now

Let’s be real for a minute. Before COVID-19, we struggled with being balanced with work and all the other important things in life.

Most managers I’ve talked to don’t feel like they’re giving enough to their partners, children, and friends (or taking very good care of themselves).

Under normal circumstances, they feel like work takes too much of their time, attention, and energy.

This year we’ve had added challenges.

For lots of us, the lines between work and home are blurred. We work in our home offices (if we’re fortunate enough to have the space).

Or maybe our “office” is a corner of our bedroom, the dining room table, or the living room couch (which is where I’m sitting right now).

Our families are now interrupting work in new ways. And work is interrupting our time with our family more than ever.

Maybe you’ve been wondering, “How can I have better work-life balance?” I’ve tackled that question in lots of coaching sessions in the past.

I’d like to share a couple of the valuable things clients have taken with them from those sessions.

Change your mindset

First and foremost, take a look at the word balance.

Certainly, the question, “How can I have better work-life balance?” uses the word balance as a noun.

The question implies balance is something you either have or you don’t have.

But in the English language, we can also use balance as a verb, as something you do, and action you take.

Most of the clients I’ve coached usually decide viewing the word balance as a verb rather than a noun serves them best.

After all, life isn’t static. We never have a schedule set that just stays in place and works forever.

We adjust. Seasons change. Our needs change. Life changes. And as it does, we have to shift in order to keep balancing.

The bottom line is this: balance isn’t something we achieve and then we’re done; it’s something that requires constant effort. And that’s OK.

This simple shift in perspective can bring all of us a lot of relief.

Use rituals to stay grounded

What’s behind the search for better balance?

It’s usually something like this: an important part is missing from your life.

And In working with clients, I’ve found that most of them know exactly what it is that’s missing.

Often, the answer to “How can I get better balance between work and life?” comes down to finding a way to get that important thing put back into life.

One of the best ways we’ve found to do that is to create a ritual.

What’s a ritual? The dictionary defines it as “a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.”

When I use the word “ritual” with clients, it means a very intentionally created routine that gets followed no matter what.

It brings so many benefits that it has a set place in your day or week and you don’t allow anything to get in its way. You take that routine seriously because it’s important to you.

And when life gets really crazy and you start to feel out of balance, it’s the rituals you have in place that help you to feel grounded.

The truth is, once you create some solid rituals around the things that really matter most to you, you might find that balance isn’t even something you worry about anymore.

If one of your rituals starts slipping, you know about it right away, and you’ll know exactly what you can do to get back to where you want to be.

And you’ll have exactly what you need to keep balancing.

Find some quiet time and write out your answers to these questions:

If you had better work-life balance, what would it look and feel like for you?

What if balance wasn’t something that you could ever have, but rather something that you constantly do, like a person walking on a tightrope or riding a bike? What would the act of balancing look and feel like for you?

If you were doing a super job of balancing, what would be the most important thing present in your life that isn’t there now?

How might you create rituals around that important thing?

What additional rituals at work and at home might support your new ritual around that important thing?

What might be the easiest next step for you to take to move forward from here?

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