Maintaining Work Life Balance : True or False?
With working from home at an all-time high these days, the topic of “balance” is one I can’t ignore.
It’s been surfacing in conversations, been asked in questions & top of mind for most of us moving through the COVID-19 pandemic.
How do you feel about that elusive concept of healthy balance?
One of my coaches says that there isn’t such a thing as balance, only counterbalance.
In the Jamie Kern Lima book I’m reading, Believe It, she says that something’s always gotta give & that balance is a lie.
But - I believe in balance. I mean, in the physical world it’s a real thing.
“Proprioception (or kinesthesia) is the sense through which we perceive the position and movement of our body, including our sense of equilibrium and balance, senses that depend on the notion of force.”
As an analogy, think of a fitness activity or movement - we naturally have a proprioceptive response that allows us to balance. This is literally dependent on some kind of force or energetic exchange.
In fitness, balance isn’t necessarily about being perfectly still or stable all the time - it’s really about being able to maintain or regain control of your body placement through motion.
When your body exerts or experiences force, you constantly move through a process of balancing. You’re in a constant state of motion & recalibrating the whole time.
This doesn’t mean that you’re out of balance entirely but rather that the act of movement within your body’s ability to manage the motion is the process of balancing.
Life is the same way.
I think what needs to be adjusted is rather the cultural perception of balance & how it plays out in your day-to-day choices.
When we set up expectations of our lives in what we think we should accomplish as a balanced life, then yes we’re often setting ourselves up for failure & balance doesn’t seem attainable.
When we try to compare our daily lives to that of others, we’re even more let down & feel like our lives just don’t measure up, never feeling balanced enough.
Instead, what if we considered a balanced lifestyle to be one of constant motion?
What if balance looked different for all of us?
What if you decided what balance was in your life & found contentment in that state of movement?
Balance doesn’t have to mean treating every aspect of your life equally all the time.
It could mean spending more time one day on work, more time the next day on family or friends, & more time the next on health.
Each week may be different or every month could have a different focus.
But not every aspect of our lives needs an equal amount of time, attention or focus all the time.
As long as we intentionally choose where our energy, thus our focus, goes.
Balance can be as easy as assessing your state of being & truly deciding what you intentionally want to spend time doing.
Balance could be conquering your work day on a long Monday, taking time outside on Tuesday, connecting with a lot of people on Wednesday, taking way too much time for self-care on Thursday, & “catching up” on all your neglected work by Friday.
As long as your content with the schedule, the amount of time spent & the energy you’re expending.
And if you’re not happy right now, still struggling trying to manage work-from-home - change your schedule!
But is it really that simple Michelle?!
Yes, it can be.
Still need some help getting motivated, setting up a new work-from-home routine?
If it feels like each day can bleed from one to the next with no end in sight...
It isn’t always easy to even determine what it means to you to be balanced.
Sometimes it involves a lot of procrastinating & distractions (hello TikTok), but ultimately I feel like I’ve cracked the code so to speak.
Here’s how to manage work-from-home life in five easy steps...
So what do you really need?!
A clear, intentional schedule.
It takes these simple 5 steps to set one up.
My approach to changing almost anything!
Work or health related.
5 Steps to Setting Up a Work-From-Home Routine:
- Create awareness of what’s really happening in your day now
- Make a plan for how you WANT your day to look & schedule it out
- Test out your plan & schedule to see what happens
- Decide & keep what works
- Adjust what doesn’t & be flexible about life’s shifts
We don’t live in a black & white, stagnant or still world.
It’s full of color & constant motion!
So when you are setting up a new routine, it’s important to realize that things change & that's okay.
Life changes & that’s a good thing.
It’s more important to be ready for change & shifts than avoid them altogether.
So when you’re working from home & thinking of some idealistic balance that you’re striving for… maybe reconsider your perception of balance & redefine what that looks like for you.
We’re not cookie cutter Barbie dolls that are meant to look perfect, keep everything tidy & have our sh*t together all the time.
We’re human beings living a life of our own choosing & you get to decide what balance looks like to you, not compare or set up unreasonable expectations that make us feel guilty or shameful for living life in a messy fashion.
So here’s to constantly being in a state of flux, as we create our own version of balance in a busy world!
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