How can I find a balance between my work and business life, with my personal life? I don’t want to neglect one or the other, but sometimes I spend too much time on maintaining and building my business, and I feel that I may not be focusing enough on my personal and family life. Can you help?
Thank you for your great question. So many women struggle with the same dilemma that you’re expressing here. Work-Life balance is certainly challenging to achieve, but doable. To help you acquire the type of balance that works for you (everyone’s needs and values are different, of course!), I’d like to recommend a three-step approach that’s effective whenever we’re facing a quandary or feeling stuck.
The three essential steps are: Step Back, Let Go, and Say Yes!
- Step Back to gain an empowered perspective:
1) Make a list of the top priorities you have in your life. List them in descending order, from 10 to 1. Include all your key priorities, including such things as:
Quality time with my family and/or children Health/fitness/exercise Building and maintaining my business Fun and relaxation Nurturing my relationships Making money Personal development and learning
Take the time now to understand what really matters to you in life, and represents a life well-lived.
- Let Go of What Keeps You Stuck:
Now think about all the “shoulds” you’ve been operating under, versus the “wants” in your life.
Create a list of all the typical “shoulds” that you utter or think about each day or week. For example, “I should stay home and work, but I really want to go out with my husband tonight!” Or, “I really wanted to focus on getting some new clients today, but I should stop and play with the kids now.”
Which of your “shoulds” are appropriate and positive, and reflect your true priorities? And which ones are driving you to behave in ways that are no longer positive, rewarding, or fulfilling for you? Which “shoulds” come from others’ opinions and judgments, and which are your own?
Cross out all the “shoulds” that no longer work for you. Stop “shoulding” all over yourself.
- Say Yes! to Moving Forward Towards What Compels You
Once you’ve determined your key list of life priorities, as well as the “shoulds” you’re ready to let go of, think about the amount of time (in minutes or hours) that you spend each day on your priorities. Where are you focusing most of your time and energy? Is it where you place the most value in your life? If not, it’s time to shift the majority of your time and energy to endeavors and activities that are most important for you today.
If you want more time with your family, then it’s up to you to carve it out, consciously, actively, without guilt or doubt. If on the other hand, you’d like to focus more time on your business endeavors, then it’s time to do so, while making sure that your family/children’s needs are met in ways that you’re comfortable and satisfied with.
It’s up to you to balance your life in satisfying ways, and you can do it!
Thanks for writing, Yoana. Please write me at Kathy@kathycaprino.com with your progress!